In our research for Helsingør Psychiatric Hospital, we not only made intensive analysis of the program and the needs of the clients, we also interviewed the daily users of the clinic: staff, patients and relatives. The different input from these interviews did not give any clear answers as to what the hospital should be like. Rather, they pointed out several paradoxes and ambiguities that we brought into the project by transforming them into conflicting qualities of the program – to be AND not to be a psychiatric hospital.

A psychiatric hospital requires a clear, centralized functionality. At the same time it needs to look and feel like anything but a hospital. The snowflake structure lets all departments radiate in separate directions from a central node, leaving informal spaces within and around them. Also, it makes the hospital fold into the surrounding hilly landscape, disguising itself in order to optimize the cure of mental illness.

source: BIG