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Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen

Circular healthcare
Steno Diabetes Centre Copenhagen is not
a hospital, but a unique constellation a new
form of coorporation   

Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen presents a unique opportunity to bring together all players in the field of treating and preventing diabetes in one building - researchers, practitioners, and above all diabetes patients and their relatives, whose lives are affected by diabetes every day.

The architecture of new healthcare buildings must be robust, flexible and future-proof - just as it was the case during the construction of Herlev Hospital 40 years ago. Although years have passed, Herlev Hospital still encompasses great qualities and functions. SDCC is leaning against both the existing and the future hospital's main themes, with recognizable, functionally distinct building volumes, the circle, the square and the clear divisions in function that the tower holds. It is in this context that the new Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen inscribes itself.

The starting point for this project is a concept that functions in multiple layers. The Diabetes Center must at one time be welcoming and feel homely, while being placed up against a large hospital, and furthermore also work perfectly in relation to both treatment and research. The contents of the building compose the physical framework that makes these competing needs come together to generate synergies between the building's different users.

The building is divided conceptually in a lower and an upper level separated by the circular Life lab in between. Life lab is the heart of the Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen inspired by the Diabetes logo, the blue ring. A floating space that binds

the functional volumes above and below together. This, the building's most public level, contains the full spectrum of offers in diabetes innovation initiatives distributed around this ring. Where movement, food culture, activities and knowledge sharing of diabetes treatment is omnipresent.


The ring encircles the courtyard - a space of a different nature, in several levels, where all users, visitors and staff share and can move freely within. The spaces that the courtyard, the circle and the other building volumes embrace, relate to Herlev hospital's other green clusters and their courtyards, here only with the difference that it connects with the surrounding landscape, rather than with its own enclosed little world.

SDCC is more than "just" an extension of Herlev Hospital. SDCC is being thought of as a new typology. In contrast to the rest of the hospital, it has healing as the focal point, promoting prevention above reactive treatments. This is where visitors go to explore new offers of a diabetes preventing lifestyle.

SDCC will offer a holistic approach to living with diabetes, where the good habits are in focus - and where a lifestyle change with increased quality of life is the ultimate goal. A circular healthcare service where prevention is paramount. Through diet, exercise and activities that promote healthy habits, this approach starts out in the small, the near and the tangible with a solid basis in the attained tools users take with them from SDCC, out into the surroundings and into their everyday life.

Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen Blue Circle
Steno Diabetes Center overview

Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen inspired

by the Diabetes logo, the blue ring

Garden view. Steno

Construction costs

Herlev, Denmark
Region Hovedstaden, Herlev og
Gentofte Hospital
Healthcare centre, research,
treatment, information
475 mill DKK
30.000 m2 
Nickl and Partners, Site Arkitekter,
GHB Landscape, Tyréns
Competition proposal
Cross-section Steno Diabetes Center Herlev
Interior. Diabetes Center Steno
Cross-section Steno
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