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Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer T hes i s projec t


Room for Healing

Room for healing Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer ----------------------------------------Thesis Project, Spring 2020 AAA - Aarhus School of Architecture Tobias Bang #2014136

Supervisor: David Tapias MonnĂŠ Studio 2C, Habitation - Building Culture and Tectonics

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


” A walk through a forest is invigorating and healing due to the constant interaction of all sense modalities. […] The eye collaborates with the body and other senses. One’s sense of reality is strengthened and articulated by this constant interaction. ” -Juhani Pallasmaa, 2012


Room for Healing

Fig. 1 - Sitephoto, Blooming ramsons, Photo: Private

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Fig. 2 - Counsellings in Denmark



Room for Healing

Other Counsellings

Future Counsellings

CONTENTS /Introduction 8 /Motivation 10 PART I - Preliminary Research -


Maggie’s Centre - Livsrum 14 Healing Architecture 16 Case studies 18 Learnings from case studies 24

PART II - Process 26

- Materials 28


Nature - Healthcare 32 Site 34 Therapy Garden 38 Plants 40

PART III - Building process 45

- Program 46 - 30 Activities 49


Design Parameters 52 Building Proposal 54 Drawings 57 From learnings to design 70

/Reflection 76 /Special thanks 79 /References 80

Reading Guide: Dear reader, This report presents the works on the thesis project Room for Healing. If you in any case should be in a hurry, do not panic. You can in this case skip the text in black and get a smaller version of the report. I recommend reading it all to get the best understanding of the project. - Happy reading

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


INTRODUCTION � Above all what matters is not to lose the joy of living in the fear of dying.� Maggie Keswick Jencks Room for healing is the culmination of my research in relations between architecture and people in a healing process. In Denmark we have a growing number of people diagnosed and dealing with cancer. The ill, the cured and the relatives. My project is a counselling centre situated near Aarhus University Hospital in Skejby. The centre works as a neutral place for healing and counselling in a difficult time. A place that offers the necessary support for the vulnerable. The aim has been to create a centre, that through architectural spaces and atmospheres lessens the physical and mental side effects that comes with the disease. This report presents the research, registrations and investigations, that through knowledge of cancer treatment and healing architecture lead to the decisions of the final design.


Room for Healing

Fig. 3 - Maggie Keswick Jencks in her garden in Portrack, Scotland. Photo: Courtesy of Maggie’s centre

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


MOTIVATION One third of people in Denmark are diagnosed with cancer before they turn 75. This leaves two third of the people in Denmark affected by the disease, as friends or family to the diagnosed. Scientific research shows that the right environments can help people recover from cancer treatments, either as patient or as a relative.( These healing environments are the result of incorporating architecture in a healing context, which over the years has increased in necessity. My motivation for taking part in this field of architecture, is to contribute to a healthier future and to help people that need support in a time of distress. The project motivation lies within the investigation of healing environments. How light, materials, sound and colors affect people in a positive way. The empiricism of materials is of great importance to the overall approach. This is to ensure architectural spaces that actively contribute to the physical and mental process of healing.


Room for Healing

Fig. 4 - Livsrum NĂŚstved, Photo: Livsrum (2015)

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing


P rel imina r y Resea rch

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


MAGGIE’S CENTRES | LIVSRUM The foundation of the modern cancer counselling originates from the Scottish counselling concept Maggie’s. Today more than 20 centres in the United Kingdom forms the framework of modern cancer treatment. These centres all have their origin from the ideas created by Maggie Keswick Jencks, her husband and specialists. Jencks saw the need to rethink cancer treatment and a change of scenery. They believed that white walls and neon lights at the hospitals needed to be replaced by comforting spaces that offered warmth, tactility and a cheerful atmosphere. The concept especially focus on the entrance, the interior spaces and their relation to the surrounding nature. Although Jencks did not live to see the first centre open in 1996, the organization kept the concept running, which today is known worldwide. ( Livsrum is the Danish concept of cancer care, which has been used for building seven new centres spread throughout the country. The concept is a further development of the healing concept inspired by the Maggie’s Centres, which have been adjusted to the Danish context and culture. The seven centres are placed in Roskilde, Herlev, Næstved, Odense, Vejle, Herning and Aalborg. More centres are in development, but these belong to a new generation of cancer care. The new counsellings are placed closely to the new Super Hospitals, which gives more users easier access to the centres. The architecture should be interesting to compel people who usually would not seek counselling in an early stage of the disease. These adaptations to the concept of cancer care have turned out to be successful as an increasing amount of people have joined the centre communities. (O’bróin 2015) Fig. 2 - Photo: Courtesy of Maggie’s centre - next page


Room for Healing

Fig. 5 - Maggie’s Centres, Photo:















Cheltenham Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


HEALING ARCHITECTURE Healing Architecture is a concept based on the human body’s ability to ‘self-heal’ through the activation of the body’s neurochemicals, such as endorphins. Two terms are of great importance when defining and working with Healing Architecture. These are ‘curing’ and ‘healing’. Although they are closely related, they have very distinct definitions. ’Curing’ refers to the relief of symptoms of a disease while ’healing’ refers to the alleviation of distress and anguish. (Sternberg, 2010) Architectural spaces have the ability to stimulate the senses, which then becomes active healers themselves. This helps reduce the amount of stress, which is one of the biggest obstacles in a healing process. Most of todays healthcare institutions inflict so much stress on the patient that the healing process is slowed down. (Frandsen, A. K. ; Mullins, M. et al. 2009)

Healing Architecture is an exploration of how the relationship between architectural spaces and the chemical reactions in the body reduce stress and anxiety. This process happens through different elements, such as lighting (staging of spaces), views, noise reduction, colors, materials, smells and art.( The main focus is to create spaces that benefit the most people. The practice is coorporating with the scientific research of how people react to the elements described above. When we are placed in a given space, the effect of that space happens through a rather complex filtering process, which takes place on a physical, psychological and socio-cultural level. The interaction between these determine the final experience, the assessment and the impression of a space. The intention is to bring the expression of a space as close to the final impression as possible. This is done through materiality and spatial composition, which gives comfort to those who seek it.

(Nickl-Weller 2017, P.211)


Room for Healing

First expression

Filter 1

Filter 2

Filter 3

Sense organ



+ sensory process

+ cognitive process

+ socio-cultural process

+ smells + appearance + staging

+ neurological processeses + psychological processes

+ culture + education + turn of attention


Fig. 6 - Diagram, inspiration: Nickl-Weller 2017 p.211

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


CASE STUDIES Room for Healing has its base anchored to qualities and learnings from counselling centres already in function. It has been an investigation of how to incorporate learnings from existing centres in both Scotland and Denmark. My investigation started by visiting four other centres, which in their various expressions are based on the modern counselling program. The visits had special focus on how the centres was organized spatially and worked accordingly to location and culture. The findings from these centres include consideration of how to think future counselling centres and how to translate the centres individual qualities into a new context. The visits started in Edinburgh, Scotland to include the origin of modern cancer counsellings, and three counsellings in Denmark. Hejmdal, designed by Frank Gehry, which is based on the Scottish program and Livsrum in Herning and Aalborg. These are both based on the recent Danish program that is designed to fit the Danish context.


Room for Healing

Fig. 7 - Maggie’s Centre Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Courtesy of Maggie’s centre

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Introvert orientation

Focus on Materials

Fig. 8 - Maggie’s Edinburgh. Photo: Private and by courtesy of Maggie’s centre

“Architecturally the idea was to slip a building within a building, lots of little niches and intimate spaces, all on the small side.” (Jencks,Charles;Heathcote Edwin 2010) p97


Room for Healing


Connected spaces

Focus on Materials

Fig. 9 - Hejmdal - KrĂŚftpatienternes hus. Photo: Private and by courtesy of Cubo Architects

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Located in neighborhood

Extrovert orientation

Focus on materials

Fig. 10 - Livsrum Herning. Photo: Private and by courtesy of Claus Pryds Arkitekter


Room for Healing

Located in neighborhood

Extrovert orientation

Cluster structure

Fig. 11 - Livsrum Aalborg. Photo: Private and by courtesy of KrĂŚftens BekĂŚmpelse

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


LEARNINGS FROM CASE STUDIES The visits to the four case studies resulted in gaining knowledge of the daily activities in the centres and how the architecture influence the perception of these spaces. Some of the main spatial qualities in the centres is illustrated on the right. These are important areas in the buildings that I have used as inspiration in my own project approach.


Room for Healing

Fig. 12 - Livsrum Herning/Aalborg. Photo: Private

Warm welcome A warm and immediate velcome is one of the most important features in the counsellings. In Herning this is working good, due to the design of the entrance.

Single conversation The counsellings have to offer comfortable spaces to have private conversations. On the right is a picture from Aalborg.

Children The counsellings should facilitate areas that is designed for children. This space is located on the lower level in Herning.

Families The counsellings should offer rooms for families to have counselling and private conversations in a neutral space away from home.

Health The counsellings focus a lot on the health through exercise and courses about nutrition for people dealing with cancer. In Herning they have a inspiring gym located seperate from the social spaces.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing


P ro cess

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


MATERIALS There have been many studies of how specific materials have a healing effect. When entering a room or a given space, we are immediately exposed for the spatial compositions, the smells and the sounds surrounding us. This is being cognitive processed and affect our emotions, our health and the development of memory. (, It is of great importance when designing with a healing agenda, that the right choice of materials are integrated in the design. Studies shows that implementation of natural elements in built design have a positive effect on the human body’s ability to ’self-heal’. This in particular is of importance when working with healing environments, such as hospitals and cancer counselling centres. When using an increased amount of wood, studies shows that the autonomic stress responses are reduced compared to environments without wood as an interior material. (,

In Room for Healing the investigation lies within these studies. The choice of materials is based on having a healthy effect on the indoor climate, having different surfaces to ensure a variety of the tactile perception as well as a calming and positive atmosphere. ”Natural materials - stone, brick and wood - allow our vision to penetrate their surfaces and enable us to become convinced of the veracity of matter. Natural materials express their age and history, as well as the story of their origins and their history of human use”. (Pallasmaa 2012, p.31). My project is using thermoblocks as main building material, which gives the construction the ability to breath, absorb and liberate, giving a good indoor environment. To ensure the healthy indoor climate throughout the building, interior walls are chalked. Other materials such as wooden floors and ceilings in contrast to elements of stone (terrazzo) and fabrics are beneficial to the overall atmosphere and acoustics. ( My project investigates the use of colors and their effects on the human being. Some have the ability to be calming, some to get people more socialized and some to evoke an increased creativity in people. (The effect of colors, Bjerregaard 2002)


Room for Healing

stress unpredictable



anxiety nervous




anxiety moderating



high blood pressure conflict



high pulse


anxiety restessness




social quiet











stability authority





muscle relaxing

unclearity unclean


peace of mind








sporty fresh

gentle cooling


deep peace




Fig. 13 - The effect of colors, Bjerregaard(2002),Kløvedal Pedersen(2004)

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Douglas Dinesen



Douglas - Dinesen, Mejlborg

Fabric Kvadrat

Fabric Kvadrat

Fabric Kvadrat

Niche, Livsrum Herning

Carpet A New Wave - Ege Carpets

Chalk Humble Yellow Jotun Lady Minerals


Carpet A New Wave - Ege Carpets

Chalk Kalk - Jotun Lady Minerals

Terazzo Avorio

Terazzo Rosata

Room for Healing

Fig. 14 - Materials used in project. Photo: see references

Fig. 15 - 3D modelled Thermoplan ÂŽ Monomur

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


NATURE | HEALTHCARE Through time nature has been perceived as a healing and recreational force itself. Regardless of age and culture, humans find nature restorative. Studies shows that up to two third of people states that green areas and nature affect their mood in a positive way. Same studies show that 93 percent of people asked, are convinced that nature have a positive effect on their health. (Skov og Landskab 2005) People diagnosed with cancer are more frequently struck by mental weariness, which among other symptoms include loss of memory, being absent minded and being more impatient and frustrated. These mental sufferings can be reduced by the nature’s stimulus. This have a positive influence on the senses and the cognitive processes. (Life 2010) Already in 1933, the Paimio Sanatorium in Finland opened, with the intention to cure tuberculosis through fresh air and nature. This may not be a scientific proven method, but the effect of natural settings and clean air has a long history in the healthcare industry. ( A term often used in healthcare contexts is healing gardens. This term does not differentiate much from nature in general, but in a garden, you are able to control an area for specific use. Gardens described as healing can in most cases be found in or around hospitals for the benefits of patients, relatives and staff. Through history, nature and gardens has been connected with the well-being and even treatment of patients (Terkildsen 2015) Gardens and nature act as pain-relieving, increases the capability of resistance to stress, gives the ability for mental recovery and strengthens the health by encouraging physical and social interactions. (Skov og landskab 2005, Terkildsen 2015)


Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer Fig. 16 - Paimio Sanatorium, Finland Photo: Benjamin Gilbert


SITE Room for Healing is based on the location at Vestereng. This is an area closely connected to the hospital and is easily accessed by car and tram, from the city center or by walking from the cancer ward at the hospital. The hospital in Skejby has since 2011 been a part of Aarhus University Hospital when it merged into one. The last building approvals to end the hospital construction got through in 2018. Aarhus is one of the locations for a new cancer counselling and according to the magazine ‘Dagens Medicin’ the hospital is rewarded as the national leading, in the field of cancer treatments. (, Some of the main factors for choosing the site is stated through following three dogmas. • The site must have an easy access for everyone, disregarding the means of transport • The site must be located in close relation to the surrounding nature • The site must have a visual connection to the hospital, but with a distance

A link between worlds The location of the site is a wedge in a belt of forest, which is giving a rich opportunity to involve the surroundings in the daily counselling activities. These activities could be everything from walks, counsellings and exercising. This is possible due to a network of paths in the forest, offering different experiences as a nearby lake, clearings in the rooftop of leaves, old bunkers hidden in small hills and a small area of frisbee golf. The different activities give the area a rich diversity of people visiting and using the site. The main access to the site will be from a connecting parking on the east side. My own research has shown that most of the users are coming by car either from the hospital or from their homes to participate in the professional and social activities during the day. Today the site is primarily used by joggers and people walking their dogs. The project will not interfere with any of the existing qualities and this invites to a new strengthen diversity of people and interactions. It is very important that the few elements added in the public areas will be beneficial for all. In this way the profile of the counselling centre will be a part of the local community and add an extra layer to it. The interventions placed in the public zones, will consists of a pavilion and benches to take a rest.


Room for Healing

Fig. 17-19 - Site Diagrams

Aarhus City Center 1:20000

AUH 1:20000



SITE Bunkers

Bench Parking

Protection line [Fredskov]

Site 1:10000

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Entrance to forest


Lake next to site

Forest road

View towards hospital



#1 - Natural setting

#2 - Visual connection to hospital

#3 - Easy access by transport

Future parking

Path fron parking to site

Site seen from Vestereng



Path towards site

Room for Healing

Fig. 20-21 - Site photos, Private / Site mapping








1.4K Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard





AUH Skejby

Olof Palmes Allé

Olof Palmes Allé St.



Cancer ward Parking



Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard

Vestereng [protected meadow]





SITE Bunkers

Bench Carl Krebs’ vej




Protection line [Fredskov]




Paludan-Müllers Vej







THERAPY GARDEN ”Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”– (WHO) Therapy gardens is used as an umbrella term for gardens where people achieve a relief or treatment of their disease by virtue of stays in the garden and with interactions concerning garden therapy. It is essential to concentrate the attention to the fact, that not all gardens works as therapeutic spaces. Research shows that people highly experiences and understand their surroundings from how their mental state is. A thing that we not react considerably on, are a very abstract idiom, which can be perceived as dramatically negative, when being psychological exhausted and weak. In therapeutic gardens you will experience working with three main things. (LIFE 2010) • • •

The sensuous experience, where the focus relies on the sense impression from the surroundings. Garden activities as planting, sowing, taking care of plants and harvesting Using mindfulness to enhance natures ability to create relaxing environment.

On the following pages the report presents the essential values, which have been a consideration when designing the therapy garden.


Room for Healing

Fig. 22 - Diagrams on therapy gardens, Inspiration: LIFE 2010


A place that offers the entrance to another world, away from disturbances

• Continuous


• Few people

the experience of wild, growing, unaffected nature


A calm space, which offers seclusion from the surroundings.

Rich in species

• Different scales

• No urban elements • Wild nature

• Safety • Peace • Visual stimulating

• Natural

A space that offers a big variation of species in plants and animals

• Plants

Open wide

• Views

The experience of a huge landscape with extensive views

• Animals

• Controlled • Activities

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Fig. 23 - Serpentine Pavilion, Zumthor and Oudolf. The beauty of roadside flowers; Photo: Kalle Sรถderman

PLANTS Following the concept of Therapy Gardens, the choice of plants has great importance to the overall character of the outdoor areas. A great variety of different plant species can have a positive effect in a healing context. In Room for Healing the outdoor areas are designed from an idea of having a recognizable selection of plants. This selection of plants can be seen in most of the Danish landscape as roadside greenery. The identifiable selection will be beneficial for a calm and relaxing environment.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Achillea Ptarmica [Nyserøllike]

Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

0.5-1 meter June - July White

Armeria Maritima [Engelsk Græs]

Hight: Blooming: Flowers:


0.2-0.3 meter May-July Pink

Room for Healing

Verbena Hastata

Artemisia Absinthium



Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

0.8 meter July - August Yellow

Ribes Rubrum [Ribs]

Hight: 1-2 meter Blooming: May Berries: July Flowers: Green

Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

0.8-1 meter July-August Violet

Ribes Nigrum [Solbær]

Hight: 1-2 meter Blooming: May Berries: July Flowers: White

Fig. 24 - Plants considerated in project

Artemisia Absinthium [Malurt]

Hight: Blooming: Flowers: Atractors:

0.3-0.8 meter June - August purple Bees, Butterflies

Epilobium Angustifolium [Gederams]

Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

Calamagrostis acutiflora 1-2 meter July-September Brown-Yellow


Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

Stipa Pennata

[Rørhvene ’Karl Foerster’]

Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

0.4-1.5 meter July-August Rosa

Veronica Longifolia

Hesperis Matronalis


Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

0.7-1.5 meter June-September Green-Brown

0.7 meter June-September Deep Violet


Hight: Blooming: Flowers:

0.7-1.5 meter May-June Pink,White

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing


B u il ding P ro cess

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


PROGRAM The building program is organized in three groups. These groups consist of the main activities in a counselling centre, which Room for Healing has used as a guideline. • Staff area (counsellors, admin., centerhead, volunteers) • Social area (kitchen, social room, creative space, library) • Exercise area (exercise, workshops, outdoor activities)

The social rooms The social spaces in the counselling centre is the core of the program. They should be architectural designed to encourage the users to interact with each other but offer the possibility of privacy as well. The social spaces are used for activities as informal talks over coffee, spontaneous events among the users, cooking and being creative in the workshop. Reflection and meditation Connected to the social spaces are rooms that can be used as a moment of privacy when needed. The significance of mental and physical well-being is a important part of the counselling concept. Being aware of your feelings can help keeping you in the present, focusing on the most important things (O’bróin 2015). Courses like mindfulness, yoga and meditation is offered during the opening hours. These activities take place in different rooms, which can be used for a various purposes as conversation, relaxation and resting.


Room for Healing

Rooms of activity Through many years of research, exercise is found to be contributing to the overall wellbeing of people and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy (O’bróin 2015). Based on these findings the modern counselling centres all benefits from a well-equipped gym, which works as a pivot point for all activity related to exercise. This includes group or individual training and walks in the surrounding nature. The Regions arrange the course ‘Body and Cancer’, which is a 6-week intensive training program facilitated by the centres. Staff Looking at the existing counselling centres the staff areas takes up to one third of the total area. This facilitates the counsellors, the administration, the center head and the volunteers. The group of volunteers are important for the centres to manage daily tasks such as welcoming people when arriving, making the place tidy and neat and ensuring the coffee and tea cans are always filled. The counsellors have their own office, while the administrative staff, center head and volunteers use a more open office structure in my project proposal.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

30 ACTIVITIES In the following pages the project presents an investigation of functions in cancer counselling centres. This investigation is called 30 Activities, which is a series of activities or functions present in the counselling centres. The diagrammatic spaces has helped me create the framework for designing the building and which spaces to include in the project. Some of the functions may overlap each other, which narrows down the physical spaces, in which the activities take place.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


+ Creative space

+ Counselling

+ Exercising + Events

+ Groups

+ Play 50

Room for Healing

Fig. 25 - 30 Activities, diagrammatic overview of functions in a cancer counselling

+ Napping

+ Arriving

+ Socializing

+ Office space

+ Library + Storage

+ Meditation Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


DESIGN PARAMETERS Arrival A warm and obliging welcome when arriving to the counselling centre. It is important that the design of the entrance area is balancing between visual contact to the social spaces and being slightly anonymous. When diagnosed with cancer it can be very difficult to identify yourself being in a new situation. It can be very hard to take the first steps entering the counselling centre, seeking help. This can often be designed as a porch, functioning as a middle zone before entering. Entering directly to the social spaces can have a negative effect on a person that for example are feeling sad. This describes very well the concept of a cancer counsellings, which should facilitate room for different moods and mindsets. Introvert/extrovert The building must appear between being inviting and extrovert to the surroundings and more closed and introvert to ensure privacy and the feeling of safety for the users. Daylight Scientific research shows that daylight and access to windows are the most frequent mentioned by people as important for their wellbeing. (Terkildsen Weiss, Pernille 2015) It is beneficial for the overall orientation and a high intensity of daylight have a positive influence on the experience of stress and pain. To ensure as much daylight in this project as possible the following things have influenced the design. • • •

A more narrow building volume to have light contributing to the rooms from both sides The interior furnishing should not block views as much as possible Materials and surfaces should correspond to a good interior lighting.

Different heights To ensure a great variety of spatial experiences, the design of the building focuses on having several ceiling heights containing double-high rooms in the main spaces. This can contribute to the use of rooms, where a lower ceiling invite for more calm activities and higher ceilings invites for more extrovert/social activities.


Room for Healing

Fig. 26 - Site Diagrams

Outdoor areas

Garden elements for therapeutic outdoor spaces

Paths Excisting forest paths on site

Flows Registred flows

• Wild garden (along treeline) • Controlled garden (courtyard) • Water (lake pavilion)

• Connection to tramline • Connection to parking • Connection to forest

• Dog-walkers • Joggers • Runners

N midnight

• Winther







- low sun, no leaves


• Summer



- High sun, leaves



• From carpark(high intensity)

Acces to site

Indicated by expected number of people

• From public transport (medium intensity) • Others (low intensity)

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


BUILDING PROPOSAL Nature is a huge part of the surroundings in Room for Healing. As part of the design process it has been important to create views to the forest from every part of the building. In this way the interiors will be an extension of the forest and gardens. This is based on the research showing the positive impact nature have in healing environments. Walking inside the forest, you will experience a variety of trees and spaces created underneath the leaves. These different spaces invite for a variety of activities, just as the program for a counselling centre. The interior spaces should invite for the same variety of activities and functions. Social activities demand larger spaces and counselling smaller and more intimate spaces. Following the intentions of the buildingprogram (arkitema 2008) the building design consist of three building volumes that facilitate the staff area, main social activities and the exercise. In this way the building will be easy to navigate, and the spaces will have their own identity. On the following page the report presents diagrams that shows the overall formgiving process, which is taking the surroundings, daylight and access to the site into consideration. The colors indicate the different areas. Social space (dark grey), staff area (grey) and exercise (light grey).


Room for Healing

Fig. 27 - Building Diagrams

Connected volumes

• One primary garden • Closed towards Vestereng

• Inner courtyard/livingroom

Seperated volumes

• Views inbetween buildings • Less hierarchy of interior spaces

Seperated Gym #1

• Inner courtyard

Seperated Gym #2

• Open courtyard

• Gardens seperated

• Gardens seperated

• Open garden area

Seperated Gym #3

• Respecting the site boundaries • Views towards Vestereng

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


• Closed towards courtyard (NE)

Interior organization #1

• Closed towards Vestereng • Social room facing entrance (S)

• Access to courtyard (NE)

Interior organization #2

• Centered cores dividing spaces • Social room facing entrance (SW)

Interior organization #3

Interior organization #4

• Access to courtyard • Staff area more difined (W)

• Open towards courtyard (NE) • Social area facing garden (NE) • Views through social building (SW-NE)

• Social area facing garden

Interior organization #5

• Respecting the site boundaries • More sunlight in garden


Room for Healing

Fig. 28 - Diagrams on room organization


Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer




Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


FROM LEARNINGS TO DESIGN On the following pages different areas in my project proposal are illustrated. The illustrations show areas that are inspired from the case studies and how the learnings from these have influenced the final design.


Room for Healing

Fig. 30 - Entrance to the counselling centre. It has been of great importance to design an entrance, which could offer anonymity as well as transparency.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Fig. 31 - A small area for kids on the 1. floor is located next to a conversation room. This gives the possibility of having a family counselling while keeping an eye on the kids.


Room for Healing

Fig. 32 - The conversation room next to the kids area is located with a view towards the forest. The room is ideal as a spot for relaxing and meditating as well.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Fig. 33 - This lounge is located on the 1. floor in the staff area. A place for the staff to have conversations. The lounge have a view towards the forest and therapy garden.


Room for Healing

Fig. 34 - The gym offers a larger room in connection to a smaller, giving room for different activities in groups or individual training sessions.

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


REFLECTION When I started on my thesis project, the general purpose was partly to understand the core of healing architecture, but with an agenda to participate in the development, or field of architecture that makes a huge difference for vulnerable people. Visiting counsellings in both Denmark (Livsrum) and Scotland (Maggie’s) made me realize how much a well composed building can do for people in special need of care. In my thesis project I have chosen not to challenge the program for counsellings in the 21st century. Embracing the knowledge and learnings from the many existing counselling centres, has been the foundation for the project’s development. I have found that healing architecture or environments are places that meet the most fundamental conditions of places that are pleasant to stay in; creating a safe zone for vulnerable people, offering both social and private spaces, having the place surrounded by a natural setting and using materials that have a calming palette of colors, textures and surfaces. Finally, the aim of Room for Healing has been to design a place, that through architectural spaces and qualities, creates a sanctuary for people dealing with cancer. My project has strived to achieve the goals of Maggie Jencks, creating the framework for a healing process and activities that brings back the joy of living in a time of distress.


Room for Healing

Thank you for reading

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer



Room for Healing

SPECIAL THANKS Anne Mette Skautrup, HR employee – Kræftens Bekæmpelse Bjørn Ruben Pedersen, Center Head – Hejmdal, Aarhus Ditte Jacobsen, Center Head – Livsrum, Herning Claus Weilgaard, Center Head – Livsrum, Aalborg Andrew Anderson, Center Head – Maggie’s, Edinburgh David Tapias Monné, Supervisor – Aarhus School of Architecture

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


REFERENCES List of figures Fig. #1

Forest, entrance to site - picture; selftaken

Fig. #2

Danish counsellings location - Inspiration (Livsrum)

Fig. #3

Maggie Keswick Jencks, Photo; Courtesy of Maggie’s Centre

Fig. #4

Livsrum - social room Næstved, Photo; O’broin 2015

Fig. #5

Maggie’s centres in Scotland, Photo;

Fig. #6

Diagram on how we process spatial experiences, inspiration; (Nickl-Weller 2017 p.211)

Fig. #7

Entrance Maggie’s Edinurgh, Photo;

Fig. #8

Maggie’s Edinburgh, Photos; Selftaken/

Fig. #9

Hejmdal - Kræftpatienternes Hus, Photos; Selftaken/

Fig. #10

Livsrum Herning, Photos; Selftaken/

Fig. #11

Livsrum Aalborg, Photos; Selftaken/

Fig. #12

Livsrum Herning + Aalborg, Photos; Selftaken

Fig. #13

Color-cirkel, inspiration; Bjerregaard 2002, Kløvedal Pedersen 2004

Fig. #14

Material studies, Photos;,,,,,,, Selftaken

Fig. #15

Brick used in project, ThermoPlan® Monomur Scanoton, Modelled in Rhino

Fig. #16

Paimio Sanatorium - Alvar Aalto, Photo; Benjamin Gilbert

Fig. #17

Site diagram Aarhus C, selfproduced

Fig. #18

Site diagram AUH, selfproduced

Fig. #19

Site diagram, Context on site, Selfproduced

Fig. #20

Site photos, Photo; selftaken

Fig. #21

Site Context, selfproduced

Fig. #22

Diagrams on therapy gardens, selfproduced - inspiration LIFE 2010

Fig. #23 Serpentine Pavilion - Peter Zumthor & Piet Oudolf, Photo; Kalle Söderman


Room for Healing

Fig. #24

Plants used in project, Selfproduced

Fig. #25

30 Activities diagram, Selfproduced

Fig. #26

Site diagrams, Selfproduced

Fig. #27

Building diagrams, Selfproduced

Fig. #28

Room organization diagrams, Selfproduced

Fig. #29

Groundfloor Plan and surrounding context, Selfproduced

Fig. #30

Entrance to counselling

Fig. #31

Kids Area

Fig. #32

Conversation room

Fig. #33

Staff lounge

Fig. #34


REFERENCES Reports ”Konkurrenceprogram - Syv nye kræftrådgivninger” Kræftens Bekæmpelse & Realdania Arkitema (2008): ”Kræftråsgivninger i det 21. århundrede” Trykkeri Damgaard-Jensen ”Natur og grønne områder forebygger stress”(2005) Skov og Landskab ”Modelprogram for terapihaver til fremtidens Kræftrådgivninger”(2010) LIFE

Books O´bróin, Jette Friis (2015): ” Livsrum, Helende arkitektur til kræftpatienter og pårørende” Narayana Press Pallasmaa, Juhani (2012): ” The Eyes of the Skin - Arkitecture and the Senses” John Wiley & Sons Nickl-Weller, Christine (2017): ”Healing Architecture” Braun Publishing Kløvedal Pedersen, Lene (2004): ”Den Gyldne Farvelære” Attika Bjerregaard, Lene (2002): ”Farveordbog” Byggecentrum Terkildsen Weiss, Pernille (2015): ”Sunhedsarkitekturens ABC” ArchiMed A/S Frandsen, A. K. ; Mullins, M. et al. (2009) ”Helende Arkitektur” Institut for Arkitektur og Medieteknologi Jencks, Charles; Heathcote, Edwin (2010): ”Architecture of Hope” Frances Lincoln Sternberg, E. M. (2010): ”Healing spaces - The Science of Place and Well-Being” Harvard

Internet ough-architecture/ (19.05.20) - healing architecture article on woods ability to heal ling_architecture/ design/ (Aarhus University Hospital) (Region Midtjylland)

Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer


Profile for Tobias Bang

Room for Healing - Counselling centre for people dealing with cancer  


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