How healing architecture finds its way into psychiatry

23:e apr. 2021

Light, air, acoustics and spatial organisation. Architectural ideas are being applied in support of treatment, not least in new psychiatric facilities. A new online series of articles from Troldtekt A/S focuses on visions and practices, opportunities and pitfalls within healing architecture.

Vision is one thing, but how do the principles of healing architecture fare in the real world? In a new series of articles, Troldtekt A/S, which develops and produces acoustic solutions for the construction industry, opens up this fascinating discussion.

The focal point of the discussion is GAPS, the psychiatric hospital in the Danish town of Slagelse. GAPS, which opened in 2015, has been highlighted as a state-of-the-art example of healing architecture and has won several international awards.

The design principles of transparency and hierarchy play a key role in the architecture of GAPS, but cause friction in daily life at the hospital, Thorben Simonsen posits in his PhD thesis. He has spent approximately 200 hours doing fieldwork at GAPS.

Architect and owner Christian Karlsson of Karlsson Arkitekter, on the other hand, believes that the design principles have already proved their worth at the psychiatric hospital. Read both of their viewpoints in the new series of articles.

The series also includes an interview with Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow, one of the jurors at the MIPIM Awards, which honours outstanding healthcare design among other project categories. In 2017, the award went to GAPS.

Architecture as an element of the treatment

The feature articles also look at the New Mental Health Bispebjerg facility in Copenhagen, which is another example of healing design principles playing a central role in modern psychiatry.

Today, a test room – also called the Patient Room of the Future – has been erected at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), where it will be used for research into health in construction. But the test room was previously situated on the roof of Bispebjerg Hospital’s underground car park. Here, architect Carlo Volf and his colleagues were able to test a completely new organisation and reinterpretation of a modern psychiatric patient room. The test room has inspired the New Mental Health Bispebjerg facility, which is due to be completed in 2024.

“The patient room is designed on the basis of our knowledge of how light, sound and temperatures affect us as humans. Light is not solely healthy, and it can be a problem if you are exposed to too much of it at night. This is also the case with temperatures and sound, and patients with mental health challenges are particularly sensitive to imbalances,” says Carlo Volf.

The solution is a patient room with a combination of daylight and dynamic LED lighting adapted to the sleep-wake cycle. The room’s good acoustics were achieved with light Troldtekt acoustic ceilings.

Troldtekt contributes to healing architecture

The new series of articles shows how Troldtekt contributes to healing architecture – not just in terms of good acoustics, but also in key areas that include healthy indoor climate, recognisable design and proven sustainability.

Troldtekt has been selected for a wide range of projects in the fields of psychiatry, health and nursing care.

>> Read the complete series of articles on healing architecture here


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



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

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