Three teams continue in the fight for New Mental Health Bispebjerg

New Mental Health Bispebjerg have found the three finalists of the project competition’s first stage: Friis & Moltke and PLH Arkitekter, VK Studio and Mikkelsen Arkitekter as well as Henning Larsen Architects and Alex Poulsen Arkitekter. Despite a very restricting competition brief we have three very different finalists.​

​For the first time ever, we have some visuals of what New Mental Health Bispebjerg might look like. A stringent rhythm of u-shaped buildings, two terraced clusters of buildings and two distinctive, rectangular bodies of buildings, form the three finalists, selected from the five project competition entries. Heading up the three finalists are Friis & Moltke and PLH Arkitekter, VK Studio and Mikkelsen Arkitekter as well as Henning Larsen Architects and Alex Poulsen Arkitekter.

”The jury believes that the entries highlight the assignment very well. The entries are very different and despite the restricting competition brief, they have managed to appear as important contributions to the competition,” says chairman of the jury, regional council member Lars Gaardhøj (S).

The entry from Friis & Moltke and PLH Arkitekter places each ward around an internal courtyard, which is nuanced to allow for varied use.​

Consolidating Mental Health Services in Copenhagen

The starting point for the projects had to be the values that Mental Health Centre Copenhagen have developed as a vision. Openness, availability and options. It is important that the architecture and interior design supports the processes so that Mental Health Centre Copenhagen can offer a coherent, high quality patient flow as well as attract the best staff.

”I am delighted that we will now have one consolidated mental health treatment facility in Copenhagen. It will improve the conditions for both patients and staff. It is also exiting to see the new possibilities for pleasant and inviting courtyards for the patients,” says director Martin Lund from The Capitol Region’s Mental Health.

The entry from Henning Larsen Architects and Alex Poulsen Arkitekter offers an exciting roof garden with access from the individual wards.​

Difficult dilemmas

A number of dilemmas were incorporated in the competition brief. For example the need for as many of the wards as possible to be placed on the ground floor with direct access to gardens opposite the limited building plot, which requires several levels.

”We are building on a very restricting building plot, which has forced some of the competition entries to come up with strained solutions. But it is also in these obstacles that the best projects find the unique solutions to functional relationships with a convincing architectural expression,” says Lars Gaardhøj (S).

The entry from VK Studio and Mikkelsen Arkitekter creates a tight functional building, which surprises with large varied hanging gardens.​​

Convincing solutions

The jury assessed the five competition entries during the period of January to March 2015 and picked the three entries, which will go on to the second stage of the competition. The three finalists represent convincing solutions which are so robust that they allow for further development during the negotiations with the builder.

During the negotiations, the entries will be developed further following the jury’s comments. The purpose is to choose a winning project team, who will be able to head up the planning of New Mental Health Bispebjerg.

On the road to finding a winner

A thorough jury report will include the strengths and weaknesses of the three entries and will form the base for the team’s further work. The entry from Friis & Moltke and PLH Arkitekter is noted for its calm, well placed and a clear functional disposition. The entry from VK Studio and Mikkelsen Arkitekter has impressed with its spatially varying patient wards. While Henning Larsen Architects and Alex Poulsen Arkitekter’s entry is seen as a very simple and rational project with great operational advantages and great relations for patients and staff. The winner will be announced at the beginning of 2016.

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