A hospital facility in Norrland, Sweden has been renovated extensively with wood-based products, owing to the universal belief that natural materials help people heal better. This serene and homely sanctuary functions as a temporary home for families with young children suffering from long-term illness. Designed by White Arkitekter, Hjältarnas Hus (House of Heroes) features MEDITE TRICOYA EXTREME (MTX) panels along the outer walls, while the roof is structured from glue-laminated wood (‘glulam’), overlaid with white metal sheets. The building’s interior walls and ceilings are clad with fir.
MTX was specifically chosen due to its “outstanding qualities,” including being the only wood composite panel guaranteed to last 50 years in an external environment, even when in contact with moisture. Equally importantly, MEDITE is manufactured using no added formaldehyde; extremely important when considering its purpose as a recovery centre.
Why MTX is an effective choice
Research has shown that exposure to wood-based products and interiors can create similar health benefits to spending time in nature. These include physical and mental rejuvenation, emotional calm and quicker recovery from illness. However, it is imperative to consider formaldehyde levels in all timber products used, especially for a building which is home to recuperating young residents. MTX offers an excellent solution because of its incredibly low formaldehyde emission classification of E1.
Additionally, the versatility of MTX was harnessed to create a stunning architectural design, with the panels lining the outer walls being milled into intricate patterns. This created a well-lit space, allowing the young children to enjoy a light, bright atmosphere. As MTX is completely weatherproof both on the surface and all the way through, it enables elaborate machining to achieve complex patterns. This ensures that the effort and investment poured into design innovation will last a lifetime.
Stuart Devoil, head of marketing and brand for MEDITE SMARTPLY commented: “This wonderful project demonstrates the full value of our product, and great understanding of timber as a building material. Not only will the product help to create a fantastic environment for children to live in, but it will not degrade, meaning it will be there for years to come.”
As MTX is fully FSC certified, it was a natural choice for a building designed to meet the highest environmental standards. Generally, in using mainly timber for this build, Hjältarnas Hus and the Sweden Västerbotten Healthcare Council, who collaborated on the project, have eliminated approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide per one cubic metre of solid material, from being released into the atmosphere, compared to using materials such as concrete or brick.
While it includes an indoor courtyard in the atrium, the recovery centre is also surrounded by a park with a pond and playground. The atrium within the centre allows access to conference rooms and offices, while another new building houses small apartments and hotel-like suites with cooking facilities and activity rooms.