2012 Thorsten PofahlThorsten Pofahl - Zauberberg
At the turn of the century people came in droves to the sanatoria. These were part “Grand Hotels”, part hospital curing diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma, heart failure, diabetes and ailments caused by the bustle of city life. The sanatorium was not just a spot that promised relief, but also a place that became a playground for high society creating a romantic image before forming the basis of a streamlined health care system.??The central German region of Harz (Mountain Forest) is an example of this development having a charming landscape inspiring Heinrich Heine to relax. In the second half of the 20th Century the region and its health sector declined.??Today, the phenomenon of social and labour related exhaustion is the focus of public attention. Neurasthenia, a disease already diagnosed in ancient Greece, is reinterpreted by the buzz word "Burn Out".??The project provides a cure by transferring the patient from a performance-oriented urban society, to a timeless, natural environment. A conscious decision to seek treatment is a retreat, but one not into solitude. The patient derives comfort from a community of fellow sufferers. It is the combination of therapy and structured daily routine that helps the patient to break with daily routines and expectations.??The project combines all functions under one roof. It embodies both cohesion and equality of the patients. The longhouse carves in the hill, its clear cubature sets itself apart from the unspoilt nature. The patient stays in the protected interior of the Sanatorium, the facade can be manipulated in multiple ways to both provide shelter and to confront the residents with the spot. The rooms vary from private to community, from panoramic views to insights into the dense forest.

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