A new treatment centre in Denmark will combine psychiatry and neuroscience under one roof. The Danish Neuroscience Centre (DNC) will provide comprehensive treatment, including psychosomatic brain disorders, spinal cord and nervous system.

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Designed by the renowned Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the Danish Neuroscience Centre is an extension of the offerings offered by the adjoining Aarhus University Hospital (AUH). The blueprint of the building consciously mimics the folding patterns of the brain to represent the purpose of the space. The building will open for business in 2026.

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An orange building that reflects where people are walking

“The Danish Centre for Neuroscience has become a world-class research and treatment facility for understanding and treating the most complex, efficient and adaptable organ in our body – the brain,” BIG said in a press release.

Multiple buildings pressed together

The collaboration with BIG will focus not only on its function as a medical facility, but also on the integration of education and science within the space.

“The building must act like a brain as a space for knowledge sharing, creating new connections, contexts and common understandings,” said Jens Christian Hedemann Sørensen, professor of neurosurgery and chair of the DNC. “We wanted to break the mindset of seeing physical and mental illnesses as isolated quantities. The location between AUH and AUH Psychiatry and the architectural design of BIG facilitated and underpinned this approach.”

Upper level access with seating and dining area

At the heart of BIG’s design is an open atrium. It maximizes the available space on each floor and the connection between the workspace and the courtyard.

“The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Our design at the new Danish Neuroscience Centre in Aarhus replicates the most fundamental feature of the brain – convolutions – to create more connections and space within a limited range,” BIG Founding partner Bjarke Ingels said.

Overlooking the Danish Neuroscience Centre is a pavilion in the middle of several buildings

The design introduces natural light and incorporates green spaces throughout the floors, “making nature and biodiversity part of the hospital’s research and patient recovery journeys.” At the reception, visitors and patients can enter the Experience Center, which highlights The latest research in hospitals, restaurants and public gardens.

Overview of multiple buildings and a tree planted on the ground

In addition, the building is equipped with passive solar design elements. This is to avoid glare and direct sunlight through mesh curtains that provide natural ventilation and temperature control.

Looking up at light streaming down an opening in the building

Additionally, the team is weaving natural materials throughout the building. The use of wood and brick will match elements of other buildings on campus, while providing a healthy environment for patients. The project aims to achieve DGBN Gold Sustainability Certification for hospitals in Denmark.

+ Bjarke Ingels Group

Image via Bjarke Ingels Group