3XN's Patient Hotel balances hospital functionality with hotel comfort

The building is formed with two sections stacked one above the other, distinguishing the two different functions.

COPENHAGEN – Danish architecture firm 3XN conceives a virtuous scheme which fuses a hotel with hospital administrative offices at Rigshospitalet, one of Denmark’s leading hospitals. Kim Herforth Nielsen – Founder and Creative Director – tells us more about the project.

Firstly, can you explain to us the notion of a patient hotel?

A patient hotel is an attractive alternative for self-sufficient patients who live far away and who need accommodation in connection to examination and treatment. The patient hotel offers tranquility, the opportunity to organize the day as you wish and to have some privacy or use public areas. For patients undergoing long-term treatment, the hotel can be a welcome break outside the clinical hospital environment. The Rigshospitalet Patient Hotel has a reception desk, staffed by nurses, as well as hotel assistants and a nutrition assistant.

What do you feel were the most important qualities required of the design?

This space is for patients, not typical hotel guests, so we had to design areas that supported nurses and doctors and enables an immediate response if a patient has a healthcare emergency. We were sensitive to balancing the need for the strict hygiene of a hospital with the warmth of a hotel. We are especially pleased that we were able to connect the lobby and guestroom corridors with the open, light-filled atrium so guests can have a welcoming and inviting environment during what is often a difficult time.

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the project?

An existing Patient Hotel was located elsewhere on the hospital grounds, but it had become outdated and was to be torn down to make room for the hospital’s expansion. We had an opportunity to create a new building that served the special needs of patients while also accommodating a modern working space for the hospital administration.

In what way was the building informed by its context?

The Patient Hotel & Administration Building is part of the new Rigshospitalet project, which will also include a new treatment building, ‘The North Wing’, scheduled for completion in 2018. We clad the Patient Hotel in the same stone, Jura Gelb, with which we will clad the new North Wing, so the two buildings will refer to and complement one another. It is also oriented to provide the best views of the nearby park for both hotel guests and hospital staff.

The building accommodates a hotel and an administrative office, how did you combine these two very different functions harmoniously?

The building appears as two stacked, juxtaposed ‘V’s. This form establishes a clear visual separation between the two programmatic functions: patient hotel and hospital administration. It allowed us to create a large atrium within the Patient Hotel to bring daylight deep into the public space and to establish two distinct entrances for the two functions.

Photos courtesy of

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