Architecture as 2nd Body

Similar to most Central European countries, the Dutch university excellence centers for cancer care have become structurally outdated and must gradually be replaced by radical renovations or new buildings. On behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and the Fund Creative Industries Fund for Architecture and Design (SFA), Kopvol carries out a nationwide research and development project “Architecture as 2nd Body”. The focus of the project is to identify factors that influence the well-being and stress perception of cancer patients in their outpatient treatment environments. For the first time worldwide, retrospectively and in a comparative study, Kopvol collects data from five academic hospitals and six psycho-social institutes in the Netherlands, which reveal information about the interaction between the hospital environment and patients. Seven environmental variables are identified that contribute significantly to the burden or relief of those affected: background noise, odor perception, vision, retreat, orientation, daylight and human scale. In 2010, Kopvol presents the data at the symposium “Building the Future for People with Cancer” in Rotterdam. Among the honorary guests are the medical directors of the country’s oncology clinics, the director of the SFA architecture fund and author Sophie van der Stap. In 2013 Kopvol receives the “Best Practice Research by Design Award” for the project, which lays the foundation for an evidence-based curative architecture for people with cancer.

Study results and design criteria are published in the monograph “Architecture as 2nd body. On the influence of the built environment on the well-being of cancer patients” (Koppen, Vollmer, 2010) published in Dutch; extracts published in journals in German and English. The complete publication in German language will be published in 2020.

Selected publications:

Vollmer, T. C., & Koppen, G. (2008). Unter welchem Dach liegt die Zukunft der Psychoonkologie? InFo Onkologie, 11(8), 591–594.

Vollmer, T. C., & Koppen, G. (2010). Architectuur als 2e lichaam: Ontwerpend onderzoek over zorgarchitectuur en ruimtebeleving bij kanker. 10/08-12/09 Eindrapport. Rotterdam.

Vollmer, T. C., & Koppen, G. (2010). Architectuur als tweede lichaam: De rol van architectuur bij de verzorging van kanker. Lay-out, 11, 1–16.

Vollmer, T. C., & Koppen, G. (2010). Fysieke en psychische vervreemding. In A. van der Leun & J. Rodermond (Eds.), Hedy d’Ancona Prijs voor excellente zorgarchitectuur 2010 (pp. 50–57). Rotterdam: Stimuleringsfonds voor Architectuur.

Vollmer, T. C., & Koppen, G. (2012). Het OPPO-gebouw, een voorbeeld voor de rol van architectuur binnen MVO in de zorg. KiZ – Tijdschrift over kwaliteit en veiligheid in zorg. (2), 26–28.

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