Project Description

As the Swedish Board of Health’s architect for 18 years, Carl Westman designed several large psychiatric hospitals, including Beckomberga, which strongly resembles Umedalen Hospital. The facility on the western outskirts of Umeå was laid out according to an austere hierarchical baroque plan, with a courtyard modelled after Michelangelo’s Capitoline Hill. Male patients occupied the eastern buildings and female patients the western ones, with buildings for administration and staff placed between them.

The beautiful classic architecture, with rose-coloured, plaster facades in Romantic Nationalism style, starkly contrasts with activities within the now discontinued hospital; perhaps the setting was meant to compensate for the mental suffering inside.

Just outside an area then enclosed by a fence, Westman designed wooden staff housing with a similar design.