Copenhagen Chapel converted into colourful cancer-care facility

Leth & Gori // Cancer-Care Facility : Elephant House
Leth & Gori has converted a 19th-century chapel in Copenhagen into an activity centre for cancer patients using a material palette influenced by the building’s existing painted ceiling.

The Elephant House functions as an annex of the main facility, which provides spaces for rehabilitation activities and function including fitness and training, mindfulness, yoga, discussion groups and events.

The main intention of the project was on transforming the existing areas to serve their new purposes while upholding the character of the existing building. Through an in-depth consultation with future users, workers and the centre’s administrators, the architects formulated a method for reorganising the building’s interior.

The principle coaching corridor is in the chapel’s nave, with a timber portal frame that includes bench seating between its pillars. The chancel was remodelled right into the workshop house, lined with deep plywood cabinets. A glazed door opens from this space onto a backyard to the rear of the building.

Transepts to the east and west of the nave now include kitchens, altering rooms, toilets and a workshop, all of which references the original building in their material palette. The hue’s of the chapel’s ornamental wooden ceilings are translated into fitted joinery and hardware including dark-red lacquered radiators, blue-painted doors and black handles. Glazed doors and a window from the nave allow sufficient amount of daylight to reach the interior – painted a traditional shade of green that contrasts with the red brick facades.
The first floor contains a meeting room and a second training hall, where the existing painted ceiling beams are noticeable. Chalkstone blocks and terrazzo flooring in the kitchen and workshop areas encloses the sympathetic approach applied throughout the building’s renovation.

“The transformation of the former chapel seeks a new spatial design that carefully embraces the cancer patients with daylight, warmth, authentic materials and details, in celebration of the craftsmanship and original qualities of the historic building,” said Leth & Gori
Images: Stamers Kontor

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