The Elephant House

Dato 01.08.21 |
Rikke Friis

Photo: Laura Stamer

It is a social meeting place for men with cancer where they can discuss difficult issues, and where they feel welcome the moment they walk through the door.

This is reflected in the number of men who turn up, which rose by an impressive 53% from January to November 2019. And it makes a difference. The time that elapses from the moment the first cancer cell develops to when the disease is diagnosed and treated is crucial vis-à-vis the health of the patients. The Elephant House is a historic, heritage building: a chapel from the 1890’s, designed by the City Architect’s Office. Today the Elephant House is a meeting place for men suffering from cancer who need a social community. It was the brainchild of some resourceful men, but is also used by men who really need contact with other men. On men’s terms.

“The Elephant House is a beautiful, historic building, which has been converted with great respect for the original chapel. More importantly, though, the conversion from chapel to activity centre opened up a wealth of new opportunities, which really benefits some of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.” Sisse Marie Welling, Mayor of Health and Care, 2019

LETH & GORI transformed the building with great care, respecting the original architectural qualities and craftsmanship of the building. But the Elephant House is much more than simply beautiful. You feel welcome the moment you enter. The users say this is due, for example, to the inflow of light and the numerous characterful details, which out of respect for the history of the chapel have retained the warm colours, creating a secure, cosy, cave-like ambience.    

Photo from an activity room in the Elephant House