Nacadia

I travelled to Denmark to study landscape architecture at the University of Copenhagen 2 years ago at the end of August, that’s why some posts this month will refer to this trip. I spent there only one semester, but I’ve learnt a lot and found out new areas of interest. Nature-based therapy and how to design space for the people – so they feel better, are some of them.

My Italian friend Lucia and me – Health Design classes excercise 🙂

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I heard about it while participating in Health Design classes. Each of the students chose a group of users, which suffered from a specific disease or disorder (stress, old age, cancer..) and designed an area for those people, using theories from the classes. Before we started working on our projects, we visited some places in Copenhagen and out of it, and The Healing Forest Garden of Nacadia was very special among them.

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The Garden is located in the Hørsholm Arboretum, 30 kms north of Copenhagen and it was constructed on a one hectare parcel. The design of Nacadia and the nature-based treatment (NBT) concept was developed from 2007 to 2009 by an interdisciplinary group at the University of Copenhagen (including landscape architects, medical doctors, psychologists and therapists), led by Ulrika Stigsdotter (our Health Design teacher :)).

Nacadia was created for people suffering from stress-related illnesses. It provides treatment for them, based on NBT. The Garden is located in the North America and Europe parts of the Arboretum, where you can find mature, tall trees and lush vegetation. There is also a spacious greenhouse, an important setting for a therapy. Most of the treatment takes place outdoors.

The pictures presenting the greenhouse

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Group of students participating in Health Design classes 🙂Image

One of the most interesting aspects of Nacadia, is, in my opinion, the use of colours in the Garden. It is well known, that people with high level of anxiety and stress feel more nervous among contrastive and bright colours. They prefer calm and natural colours, like green and blue, so they can relax and feel better. When they are ready, they can visit areas, which offer greater diversity of hues.

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The Nacadia Garden is intended for people suffering from stress and stress-related diseases, but I think anybody who enters this place and spends some time there, feels much better. By the way, what do you think about the name of the Garden? The first idea that came to my mind was Arcadia, but then I thought also about Narnia. In fact, it is a combination of these two names 🙂

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