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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Instituut Verbeeten in Breda, Netherlands by Wiegerinck

February 14th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Wiegerinck

A radiotherapy satellite location was developed for Instituut Verbeeten next to the Amphia Hospital in Breda. The new building and its two radiation bunkers cuts traveling time for patients living on the fringes of the catchment area. A healing environment is the main design principle. Patients experience daylight at every step of their treatment. The shell around the building creates various patios in the waiting and treatment rooms. It forms a filter between the outside world and the building, creating a feeling of openness and privacy.

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

  • Architects: Wiegerinck
  • Project: Instituut Verbeeten
  • Location: Breda, Netherlands
  • Photography: Kim Zwarts
  • Programme: Center for radiotherapy
  • Client: Instituut Verbeeten, Tilburg
  • Project team: Jarno Nillesen, Alfons van den Berg, Frans Frederiks, Carl Peter Goossen, Marieke van ‘t Hoff, Gerard Kasteel, Miriam Poch, Paul Numan, Roy Pype
  • Consultants: Aronsohn, Deerns raadgevend ingenieurs, Gebroeders Brouwer, FabriekNL
  • Contractors: Heerkens van Bavel, Gebroeders Brouwer, FabriekNL
  • Design Start: 2007
  • Completion: 2010
  • Gross surface: 1.794 m²
  • Sustainability: No label
  • Organisation: Traditional

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

Furniture from previous decades provides the desired intimacy. The furniture was completely restored and given a second lease of life. The symbolism of “a second lease of life” is something many patients express before and after their treatment.

Shaping the atmosphere of a room can have a positive influence on the healing process. In the radiation bunkers, patients can select music and the colour of the light themselves, which reduces stress levels.

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

History of development
The Verbeeten Institute is a specialist radiotherapy hospital. About ten years ago, it became clear that, based on pidemiological data, the institute in Tilburg (the Netherlands) had to increase its radiation capacity. The decision was made to build small-scale satellite sites on the fringes of the catchment area with two radiation bunkers each. This way, patients also receive care closer to home. The satellite site in Breda is explained below.

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

When searching for a way to build new sites, our basic principle was to ‘maintain the excellent care quality’. We also looked for additional things so that we stood out for patients as well as employees.

This was prompted by positive results from patient surveys on the one hand, and by the imminent shortage of health care providers on the other. Patients were very satisfied with the quality of the care provided in Tilburg, and invariably mentioned the friendly ambience. By standing out, the institute would be able to continue to attract patients and health care providers.

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

Care concept
As a design concept, ‘Healing Environment’ offered the best opportunity to realise the basic principles. After a literature study, site visits and contact with the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology, the basic principles were revised. Daylight became an unconditional requirement for all waiting, meeting and control rooms. Patients and employees also had to be given as much of an outside view as possible.

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

The design had to soothe and stimulate, so as to put patients and health care providers in a positive frame of mind. Finally, the designers were asked to carefully complete every aspect of the design; from spatial perception to signposting, the building had to exude the same atmosphere.

Image Courtesy © Kim Zwarts

Site and setting
The site is located on one of the car parks at the rear of the Molengracht site of the Amphia Hospital in Breda. In the future, a physical link with the hospital can be created there. This is a very urban environment, however, and does not adequately reflect the patients’ state of mind. Therefore, the design sought to improve this environment, thereby giving the building a recognisable identity.

Image Courtesy © Wiegerinck

Design concept
The building has been given a unique identity, both inside and out. In terms of the exterior, two aspects are key: the raised green incline and the wooden fence that has been placed around the building. Not only does the incline provide an easy link to the Amphia Hospital, it also gives the building the necessary significance.

Image Courtesy © Wiegerinck

The organic folded shape of the wooden fence contrasts with the angularity of the hospital while also protecting the interior. The fence creates a transitional area –sheltered patios – between the building and the surrounding car park. Limiting the view of the inside area also increases the intimacy of the interior.

Image Courtesy © Wiegerinck

The building partly consists of two levels. The second floor was designed for employees only. The auxiliary rooms, such as meeting rooms and offices, are located here. All patientrelated areas are on the first floor: the entrance hall, consulting
rooms, waiting rooms, and the treatment area with two radiation bunkers.

Image Courtesy © Wiegerinck

In terms of the interior, there are two key elements: accommodation and treatment rooms are provided with as much daylight as possible and the interior design is finished down to the last detail to exude the same atmosphere. The design managed to be light and quiet, despite the technically heavy facilities, such as the radiation bunkers.

Image Courtesy © Wiegerinck

This was achieved by placing all waiting rooms, studies and treatment rooms on the façade of the building. These rooms are also small-scale, thereby creating a homely atmosphere. There are hardly any corridors inside the building, and there is a view of the surrounding garden throughout. This creates a sense of openness and freedom.

Image Courtesy © Wiegerinck

All the rooms have furniture from the previous decades. The furniture was completely cleaned up, getting a second lease of life. The symbolism of “a second chance” is something many patients express before and after their treatment. One feature in the interior is an artwork in light by artist Herman Kuijer.

It is has been shown that shaping the atmosphere of a room can have a positive influence on the patient’s healing process. In the radiation bunkers, patients can select music and the colour of the light themselves. This reduces stress levels during treatment, when the patient is alone in the bunker.

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Categories: Center, Radiology

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