Germany (Berlin) | Healthcare | noraplan sentica™

Soteria – Charité University Psychiatric Clinic at St Hedwig's Hospital, Berlin

The term “soteria” (ancient Greek for healing, well- being, preservation, salvation) refers to an alternative stationary treatment for people su ering from psychotic crises. This treatment approach is characterized by, among other things, a restrained use of psycho-pharma-ceuticals, a homey facility, and open station manage- ment. The goal is to prepare patients for the return to everyday life. Since 2013 this has also been available in Berlin. Soteria, which belongs to the Charité Psychiat- ric University Clinic at St. Hedwig’s Hospital, was conceived as an interdisciplinary project by psychiatrist Dr. Martin Voss and architect Jason Danziger, of thinkbuild architecture BDA. The architect, Jason Danziger, and the builder, Alexianer St. Hedwig kliniken Berlin GmbH, were awarded the BDA PRIZE BERLIN 2015, one of the most important architectural prizes in the country. more

In Soteria Berlin there are twelve treatment centers for young people su ering from acute psychotic crises. They live together with the therapists like a kind of “tem- porary surrogate family” and shape their everyday life together. This includes daily shopping as well as leisure activities. Psychotherapeutic group sessions, ergo-ther- apy, art therapy, and body therapy are integrated into the daily routine. The group’s environment is also part of the treatment. An important component of this so-called milieu therapy is a homey environment with natural, authentic materials. For the ooring in rooms and corridors, rubber oor coverings from nora systems were chosen. They create a welcoming atmosphere while o ering all the functional advantages of rubber.

Rubber as an authentic material

“When designing the station, we had to nd a middle path between the necessary protection from irritants and ensuring su cient stimulation,” explains chief physician Voss. The ambience should stimulate the young people, on the one hand, but it should also o er a retreat in which they can relax, on the other. Experience shows that the use of medications can also be reduced in this way. It is very important that the environment should not be sterile. “We absolutely wanted to avoid a hospital atmosphere,” Voss und Danziger emphasized. The rooms are dominated by a light, subtle gray, which is broken up by individual wall surfaces painted in strong blue, green, yellow, and violet.

Authentic materials were extremely important to the architect and the occupants. The background: during a psychotic crisis, people often su er from perceptual disturbances. “You must be able to rely on the fact that what you see is real,” explains the chief physician. “For this reason, elastic ooring that looks like wood was not suitable for us.” Living areas such as the large shared kitchen were given real wood parquet, while rubber oors were installed in the patient rooms and corridors. “The e ect of the oors unfolds through the natural materials,” Voss and Danziger agree. The restrained light gray of the nora coverings not only harmonize perfectly with the parquet oors, but also with the bright colors of the room walls. “The rubber ooring has a calming appearance, on the one hand, but on the other hand it re ects the strong colors of the walls and takes on a beautiful, lively glow in these areas,” explains Danziger.

Improved underfoot comfort and the best acoustics

It was not only the aesthetic advantages, but also the functional properties of the rubber oor coverings that spoke in their favor. For one thing, their permanent elasticity reduces the sounds produced by walking, thus ensuring a pleasant soundscape in the station. “The reduction of noise signi cantly reduces patient stress,” says Voss. This is of particular importance in psychiatric settings, where patients react with extreme sensitively to acoustic stimuli. Moreover, the rubber oors feel warm and soft on the feet, which is also a great advantage. “Quite intuitively, many patients walk around barefoot or in socks during a psychotic crisis – that helps them to ground themselves.” It follows that it is particularly important for oors to be comfortable and pleasant to walk on.

In many ways, Soteria Berlin is an example of the healing e ects of architecture: in a relaxing environment, the young patients have the best possible chance of overcoming their illness and recovering completely.

The nora brand name and any other registered trade- marks used in this reference report are registered with the company, the country, or a subsidiary of the com- pany nora systems GmbH.

Data and facts

Building Soteria at St. Hedwig’s Hospital Charité University Psychiatric Clinic, Berlin
Owner Alexianer Agamus GmbH
Contruction management Alexianer St. Hedwig Kliniken Berlin GmbH
Market Segment Healthcare
Products noraplan sentica™
Architect Jason Danziger/ thinkbuild architecture BDA, Berlin,
Installation Year 2013
Photographer Werner Huthmacher, Berlin


noraplan sentica™

Rubber floor covering with a changing base color of harmoniously matched color components in a smooth surface for heavy traffic areas.

More references

University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf 

Germany (Hamburg-Eppendorf)
noraplan environcare™ | Healthcare

Floor coverings that look better from day to day despite years of extremely intensive usage in a hospital? What may seem almost unimaginable has been reality at the University Hospital Hamburg- Eppendorf in Germany for five years now.

How to Contact us
Sign Up for Updates
Find nora on LinkedIn
Latest News & Events