Innovative architecture is good for mental health


Can the design of psychiatric hospitals minimise the use of physical restraint? A new Troldtekt A/S theme gives you the experts’ answer. Read, among other things, an interview with architect Christian Karlsson about the considerations behind the internationally recognised psychiatric hospital in the Danish town of Slagelse.

When HRH Crown Princess Mary cut the red ribbon for Slagelse’s new psychiatric hospital in 2015, she was also heralding a new era in Danish psychiatry. GAPS, as the hospital is called, is a state-of-the-art example of healing architecture. Internationally, the project has won considerable praise and an array of awards.

Christian Karlsson is an architect and owner of Karlsson Arkitekter. Together with Vilhelm Lauritzen Arkitekter, Karlsson Arkitekter designed the 44,000 m2 psychiatric hospital with capacity for about 200 patients.

 “Instead of taking disease as our starting point, we based our design on the opposite. We asked ourselves: What sort of architecture supports living a good life as a healthy person? We then upscaled our conclusions to the functions required in a psychiatric hospital,” he explains in a recent interview with Troldtekt A/S.

A pleasant acoustic environment

The interview with the architect is part of a theme about healing architecture, which can be viewed at Here, architect Stence Guldager from Arkitema Architects also talks about building the psychiatric hospital in another Danish town, Vejle. The project was nominated for the Danish healthcare construction award 2017.

Robust, warm materials were used in Slagelse and Vejle – including acoustic ceilings by Troldtekt.

“A pleasant acoustic environment is important for the patients, while Troldtekt’s rough finish goes well with the other materials. At the same time, it mitigates the institutional feel, which makes patients feel more comfortable,” comments Stence Guldager.

The theme also includes an article on the “Social Bricks” pilot study, based on six selected Danish cases, presenting knowledge about ways for architecture to support social work. In addition, read about the CEBRA studio’s thinking behind a new children’s home, which is more like a classic terraced house than an institution.


  • Troldtekt A/S is a leading developer and manufacturer of acoustic ceiling and wall solutions.
  • Since 1935, wood and cement have been our main natural raw materials of production, which takes place in Denmark in modern facilities with a low environmental impact.
  • Troldtekt’s business strategy is founded on the Cradle to Cradle design concept, which plays a key role in safeguarding environmental benefits towards 2022.


Peer Leth, CEO, Troldtekt A/S: +45 8747 8130 //  
Tina Snedker Kristensen, Head of Marketing and Communications: +45 8747 8124 // 

The CEBRA architects have created the “Children’s Home of the Future” in Kerteminde (DK) - a building that looks much more like a classic terraced house than an institution for particularly vulnerable children. Copyright© Mikkel Frost.
The planning process for the Danish psychiatric regional hospital in Slagelse was characterised by innovation and a desire to construct a first-class complex which supports patient care and recovery. Copyright© Helene Høyer Mikkelsen.
Close to the cancer departments at a number of Danish hospitals - e.g. in Odense, Denmark’s biggest patient association, the Danish Cancer Society, has built seven new cancer counselling centres, designed according to the principles of healing architecture. Copyright© Helene Høyer Mikkelsen.
Transparency, the intelligent use of light and easy access to safe courtyards. These are some of the architectural features at the newly constructed psychiatric hospital in the Danish town of Vejle designed by Arkitema Architects. Copyright© Thomas Mølvig.