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Snøhetta designs modern cabin retreats for hospital patients

For when patients need a little fresh air

Wooden cabin seen through trees Photo by Ivar Kvaal

The cabins that sit outside of Norway’s two largest hospitals are only 300 feet away from the buildings’ entrances, but they feel like they’re a world away.

Nestled into the forests near Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, and the Sørlandet Hospital Kristiansand, the clusters of cabins are meant to be relaxing retreats for recovering patients and their families.

Wooden cabin with square windows Photo by Ivar Kvaal
Sun-filled room with cushioned benches Photo by Ivar Kvaal

Patients can book one of the Snøhetta-designed Outdoor Care Retreat cabins for when they need a break from the bustle and bright lights of the hospital. All of the 376-square-foot rentals are clad in oak and feature three rooms—a bathroom, bedroom, and living room that are designed for wheelchair accessibility and are large enough for a hospital bed.

Detail shot of sun on wood Photo by Ivar Kvaal

Snøhetta’s design draws on a growing body of research that shows natural light and biophilic design can aid patient recovery. Accordingly, the cabins’ asymmetrical shape is inspired by tree branches and have geometric windows that face out onto the forest and can be fully opened to let fresh air enter the room.