West 8 wins design for the courtyards of the new General Hospital Jan Portaels in Vilvoorde
A combined Belgian and Dutch design team, consisting of NU architectuuratelier – dJGA (de jong gortemaker algra architecten)- AR-TE – WEST 8 urban design & landscape architecture B.V. – STABO – DAIDALOS, has been selected to design the new hospital AZ Jan Portaels in Vilvoorde, Belgium. This new hospital covers 45,000 square meters and houses more than 400 hospital beds. The team was selected from thirty competing design teams.
The new hospital will be constructed behind the station area of Vilvoorde, ensuring good connectivity by car as well as public transport. The hospital is intended to catalyze one of the most important and strategically located areas in Vilvoorde. Cor Wagenoor, Professor at the Technical University of Delft and expert in the architecture of health care, assisted in the process and is very happy with the selected design team: “This design team has perfectly translated the very clear vision and strategy of the hospital into architecture.”
In finding a suitable design team a so-called Open Call for Tenders was issued, a selection procedure under the guidance of the Team Vlaams Bouwmeester (Flemish Government Architect). “The choice for the combined Belgian and Dutch design team was made on the basis of the integrated vision and coherent concept on multiple spatial scale levels: the city, the location, the building and its interior. In which, a link is created between the principles of a healing environment and urban integration,” said Dr. Guy Buyens, Managing Director of the AZ Jan Portaels hospital. The selected design team is responsible for the urban design, architecture, interior, functional design and landscape of the Flemish hospital.
In the hospital 10,700 hospitalized patients will be treated and 64,500 consultations will take place on an annual basis. The hospital will feature a ‘cut open building block’ design. This creates a balance between the opening up and shutting out of the urban surroundings, and ensures the calmness and serenity of the enclosed courtyards within the hospital is not lost. The effect is a healing atmosphere that focuses attention on the patient and his/her surroundings.
The cut open building block also combines the advantages of a campus layout with the compactness of a closed building block. The individual buildings, such as the cure-care building, the health centre and the office building, are easily recognizable and arranged in such a way that they form part of the building block. In this way a very compact layout has been created with short walking distances, great interconnectivity and distinctive architecture.
West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 25 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Chiswick Park in London (UK) and Expo ’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Playa de Palma in Mallorca (ES).
Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.