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Vikaergaarden – An Innovative Rehabilitation Center, Aarhus, Denmark

September 2012
EDAC Advocate Firm Project


Firm's role on the project:  Planning, Programming, Architecture, Design, Interiors 

EBD Goal

To rebuild an old nursing home creating a high-end, cutting-edge innovative rehabilitation center to help those with disabilities. Additionally, the center had an imperative to integrate the development and testing of new healthcare technologies and processes.


The design team had to create a rehabilitation center with almost no role models in the market. Creating an innovative building concept and business model was challenging enough, but when added to existing problems, it became even more challenging. The existing nursing home remaining as a running business proved to be a logistical challenge to the building project, but also created a context of ambidextrous organizations, where old values, norms, and processes often weigh down the more innovative and creative ideas and solutions.  Add to this challenge, the city’s mantra, “better and faster rehabilitation.” The municipality of Aarhus aims to reduce the level of expenditures for patients who are in the hospital solely for rehabilitation, which results in an increased demand for primary healthcare solutions – a challenge for the Danish tax funded healthcare budget.


The master plan was developed utilizing all eight steps of the evidence-based design process from day one. By introducing the logic and visibility between end-results and evidence-based design, links were created that connect the complex system of architecture, processes, technology, culture, and organization.  ArchiMed is not only designing a unique new building and landscape, but also designing a whole new way of looking at and working together with patients and their needs.  ArchiMed teaches and facilitates the EBD learning process with its clients to provide a deeper understanding of the essence of healing architecture, space, and rehabilitation. Over the next year Vikaergaarden will change from a dark and old fashioned nursing home to a new technologically-advanced rehabilitation center built with the best evidence-based knowledge.