Scan Magazine, Issue 117, October 2018

Page 44

Left: Anne-Grethe Borch Lauridsen, department supervisor at Esbjerg Psychiatry, says that the changes implemented by Arkitema “make the patients feel safer and calmer”. Right: The percentage of people leaving the strained Rosenhøj housing estate fell after changes implemented by Arkitema.

Architecture inspired by people A study of the human benefits gained, in several projects by the Danish architectural firm Arkitema Architects, shows that architecture can make a significant difference. Architecture can improve the lives of the people it is inspired by. Among the remarkable results, is a 70 per cent reduction in the number of physical restrictions at a psychiatric department designed by the firm. By Signe Hansen  |  Photos: Arkitema

When architecture can change and improve people’s lives, it is not just because of the aesthetic value it adds. No, architecture is about much more than attractive facades, stresses partner Jørgen Bach. ”Our starting point is always ‘people in architecture’. Humans are at the centre of our work. It’s our company’s heritage and culture; it saturates everything we 44  |  Issue 117  |  October 2018

do; it’s the way we think, the way we are trained, and how all assignments begin.” Since its foundation in 1969, Arkitema has created a string of projects, including housing, commercial, educational and health institutions. Among its most famous projects, are Copenhagen’s prob-

ably most popular new neighbourhood, Sluseholmen, and Esbjerg psychiatric hospital in Denmark

Safer and happier With a 70 per cent reduction in the number of physical restrictions and a 61 per cent reduction in the use of tranquilisers, the numbers speak for themselves at Esbjerg Psychiatry. Furthermore, interviews show that, thanks to the new architectonical frames, both patients and carers feel safer and happier in their everyday life and work. Essentially, the new design has opened up the whole building using glass walls to separate units, creating transparency, increasing freedom and

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