And sound and acoustics actually constitute the third important component of the patient room of the future:
“We want to eliminate noise, as it can cause patients to deteriorate, but we also want to give them a sense of the outside world.” Or to put it another way: “They should be able to hear the birds, but not the motorway,” says Carlo Volf, explaining that the superior acoustics in the patient rooms are created with light Troldtekt ceilings, while the walls in the test room are clad in acoustic oak slats to ensure natural ventilation with more fresh air and fewer hours of excessive room temperatures during the summer months.
“Traditionally, hospital buildings are full of hard surfaces. Troldtekt is therefore used to shorten the reverberation time in the patient room and provide a soft, brief reverberation,” says Carlo Volf, adding that the use of wood on the walls and ceilings also adds a warm glow to the room.
In addition to inspiring the construction of the New Mental Health Bispebjerg hospital, the experience gained with the test room will also be compiled into a report for builders, consultants and architects. It is expected to be published in 2021.
“Alvar Aalto said that the architect should defend ‘man at his weakest’; users in psychiatry are often weak, and architecture should reflect that. We will be doing even more research in this area and looking at how the experience we’ve gained so far works in the real world at the New Mental Health Bispebjerg facility,” says Carlo Volf.