Centre for Cancer and Health

A place for recovery

The large hospital buildings with their large receptions areas, is not a place many would go for company and solace – but of course in need of medical treatment. The Centre for Cancer and Health in Copenhagen is NORD Architects’ take at reinventing a health care institution and creating the opposite atmosphere of a traditional hospital. It offers everything surrounding the medical treatment; a place to recover, gain knowledge, receive treatment that is not only medical – and have fun.

All of the offers in the Centre for Cancer and Health are offered by The Danish Cancer Society. They are targeted both previous and current cancer patients who can participate in cooking classes, individual- or group therapy, strength training, etc. – all aspects that are crucial in successful physical and mental recovery from cancer treatment.

The brief for the centre was clear and simple: ’Create a healthcare centre that is more like a home than a hospital. The building should be iconic and create awareness of cancer without stigmatizing the patients’.

This is in many ways a contradictory description, but Nord Architects solved it by designing a series of smaller houses shaped like traditional houses. The houses were then connected by a raised folded roof referencing the Japanese paper art origami. This design made the building a landmark with plenty of space without losing the comforting scale for the individual.

As a new cancer patient it can be a challenge to even come to the centre and take on a new identity of a cancer patient. Therefore we have made it a priority to make the building as warm and welcoming as possible. There are no large reception areas. Everyone enters through a lounge area and are welcomed by volunteers who help you get the assistance you need.

Inspired by the stillness and contemplation of monasteries the healthcare centre has an inner courtyard that you can visit and spend time outside, but in stillness or in quiet conversation.

  • Location:

    Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Client:

    Copenhagen Municipality

  • Year:


  • Typology:

    Healtcare centre for cancer patients

  • Construction costs:

    40 mill DKK

  • Size:

    1.800 m2

  • Collaborators:


  • Status: