Design of a recreational area for Mary Elizabeth's Hospital, opening 2026 in Copenhagen

Hospitals have been a crucial element of healthcare for centuries, providing a space for diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The design of hospitals has evolved dramatically throughout history, with significant changes in both the form and function of these institutions. Ancient hospitals were closely connected to nature, with an emphasis on the role of surroundings in the healing process. However, in the 19th and 20th century, hospitals became highly efficient ”treatment-machines,” prioritizing clinical processes over patient-centered care.

The neglect of human factors in modern hospital design can be particularly challenging for pediatric patients. Children may be more sensitive to their surroundings, and a sterile, clinical environment can be frightening and overwhelming.

The Reflection Pier – a hospital safe haven, is a spatial experience designed for a recreational area at Mary Elizabeth’s Hospital. Inspired by the wellbeing enhancement of human-nature connection, this space seeks to allow patients and their relatives access to another world – socially, physically and mentally. It will serve as an existential breathing space, a haven where users are given the opportunity to find tranquility, comfort, joy and room to be human.

Project info
Sofia Lykke Saxbøl