A Toast to Carlo Volf, PhD, and Klaus Martiny, MD, PhD

Carlo Volf, PhD, and Klaus Martiny , MD, PhD
Carlo Volf, PhD, and Klaus Martiny , MD, PhD, at the University Hospital in Copenhagen.

I would like to toast Klaus Martiny, and Carl Volf, who make me popular at cocktail parties even when they’re far away.

It started at an SLTBR conference, a Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms conference, in San Diego. Carlo told me how Florence Nightingale observed that patients in rooms with windows facing east left the hospital sooner than patients in rooms with windows facing west. Doctors mocked her for this idea, but Nightingale kept records, published results, and won the vindication of history.

Guests at wedding receptions and cocktail parties love to hear this story. When they press me for details, I tell them Carlo won a commission in Denmark to build a hospital.

“But you can’t have ALL the windows face east!” they tell me.

“Yes,” I say. “And in this competition, the rules said contestants must have an equal number of windows facing north, south, east, and west. Carlo designed his hospital that way, but made the windows facing east bigger.”

Klaus complements Carlo’s passionate seriousness with a love of the absurd humor of P.G. Wodehouse, and one of the highest concentrations I know of unassuming likeability. I once told an SLTBR member, “Don’t ask people to do that; they will just say no. Ask Klaus to ask them. Then they will say, “yes.”

Klaus and Carlo devised a patient room with cutting edge features tailored to help patients with major depressive disorder. In doing so, they were following the wisdom of Finnish architect Alvar Alto, who said “Architecture should defend man at his weakest.”

Here’s to the interdisciplinary creativity of Carlo and Klaus in applying basic research, and the spirit of Alvar Alto, to help patients.

-Elizabeth Saenger

The Revolutionary Room

The Revolutionary Room

In 2018, an architect, and a psychiatrist, designed a room to treat patients with major depression. How do you think this unusual room will work? Watch this slide show, and stay tuned to find out.

Toward a solar architecture: An interview with Carlo Volf, PhD

Find out how this Danish visionary, inspired by the science of circadian rhythms, creates buildings which use light, and other natural forces, to enhance people’s health. Then enjoy a video.

Carlo Volf, PhD

Ultraviolet Aspects of Zonnestraal

The Sanatorium Zonnestraal, completed in 1931, featured low-iron glass, good ventilation, and other characteristics promoting health. How can we use the “forgotten knowledge” of this era?

Watch the patient room as light subtly changes the feel, and character, of this space courtesy of time-lapse photography.