Lighting in psychiatry can have a direct healing effect, we have designed circadian lighting in several psychiatric hospitals for that purpose. But therapeutic lighting design is also about creating humane environments, that are simply more pleasant, more welcoming and more coherent.
The physical space where patients meet Glostrup Psychiatry is defined by a 300-meter long corridor, that in a very real sense, created a distance between patients and therapists. The client, Region Hovedstaden, recognized the issues presented by the monotonous hallway with uniform, “drowsy” lighting: aside from simply being uninspiring, it was difficult to orientate and deemed far too clinical, cold and “institutional” in its expression.
The solution was to encourage visitors to be more engaged. The corridor was given new life as an exhibition space for art that should be relatable and have a humanising effect. Wayfinding was improved and simplified, a calm but embracing colour palette was introduced. The improved lighting quality lifts the spirits, and functionally, the lighting design illuminates the artworks, creates a comfortable rhythm, acts as implicit wayfinding and accommodates variation in the levels of natural light, both seasonally and in the course of a day.
The result combines art light and colour with a lighting design that facilitates healing, by literally and metaphorically mediating the distance between people.