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The Natural Light - The Psychiatric Hospital

Prize(s) Winners in Daylighting
Company Multiconsult, Norway
Lead Designers Kari Hornmoen and Anna Solgaard Evensen
Completion Date September 2016 - August 2019
Project Location Tønsberg, Norway
Project Link View
Entry Description
People need surroundings that give them a sense of physical and mental security, but the role of lighting in this is often underestimated by hospitals. Our lighting concept – “The Natural Light” – combined large windows that let lots of daylight into patients’ rooms with good artificial lighting. This produced a mix of light, airy spaces that give energy and warmth and subdued ones that feel cosy and safe. In Scandinavia, the natural light varies greatly through the day and by season. This connects us to nature and gives us a strong sense of time passing. However, when it is dark, artificial lighting is needed to create inviting spaces, which we managed to do while still using fixtures that posed no risk of self-harm. We also made it possible to control both the intensity and colour temperature to provide circadian lighting. The outdoor lighting concept for this project – “Outdoors is indoors” – aimed to make the outdoor spaces feel just as safe and pleasant as the indoor ones in the evening, thus removing barriers to patients wanting to go outside. Moreover, we didn’t want the outdoor spaces to feel institutional, in spite of them being securely enclosed.