Rummets grammatik: Helende arkitektur i psykiatrien

Thorben Simonsen, Holger Højlund

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


That spaces matter in psychiatric treatment is far from a novel insight in the field of psychiatry, but novelty can be found in the ways that space is directly related to a particular approach to treatment, as is the case with ’healing architecture’. Healing architecture is a key architectural principle in newer hospital facilities, where the notion of recovery has been written into these newer psychiatric facilities together with the architectural principle of healing architecture. This article examines the juxtaposition of recovery with healing architecture in a newly built psychiatric hospital in Slagelse, Denmark. Based on qualitative material consisting of observations, interviews and documents, the manner in which the hospital building itself is expected to be an important component in the provision of mental health is explored. Based on the work of German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk the article shows how the notion of recovery is explicated through three design principles developed by the architects during the design of the psychiatric hospital in Slagelse. The principles are: healing architecture, hierarchy and transparency. It is argued that the three principles together constitute a spatial grammar, which expresses a particular atmospheric politics in the approach to the treatment of mental illness.
Original languageDanish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)22-42
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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