Zaans Medical Centre, designed by Mecanoo, is the first lean hospital in the Netherlands. It is an efficient and compact building in which professional healthcare and a personal approach strengthen each other. Clear routing, an abundance of daylight, and positive distractions contribute to an environment which promotes wellbeing.
The clear stacking of two floors of outpatient clinics, two floors of clinical departments and a flexible facility layer between them, optimally serves the primary care processes. All departments are designed to prevent any form of waste. Whenever possible, the outpatient clinics and nursing departments are standardised, allowing for exchangeability and adaptability. The Zaans Medical Centre is therefore efficient, flexible and future-proof.
The patient experience played a crucial role in the design process. Positive distractions can reduce the stress of a hospital visit and advance recovery. The spacious multi-storey lobby has the feel of a welcoming public building. Semi-circular voids and skylights, the use of wood, bright colours, good acoustics and unobstructed views of the surroundings provide a pleasant atmosphere. Hand-drawn illustrations on walls, glazed partitions, and lifts refer to the industrial heritage of the Zaan region. A special spiral slide offers children an adventurous way to travel between levels.
“Zaans Medical Centre is the first Mecanoo-designed hospital: from architecture to urban plan, and from landscape to interior,” says creative director Francine Houben. “In the integral design, we have built upon our extensive experience with public buildings and visitor experience. The result is a serene, alluring environment that touches all the senses. It does not feel like a hospital, but as a place you would like to be.”
Adjacent to the Zaans Medical Center lies a health boulevard with a rehabilitation hotel, a pharmacy, eye clinic, various shops, a supermarket and a parking garage, designed to function as a small town. The smart combination of the medical centre and related healthcare services results in a health district for Zaandam and the region.
The hospital was developed by the Zaans Medical Centre and Vitaal ZorgVast, and constructed by BAM, within time and budget. SILO Agency designed the illustrations and environmental graphics. The building is BREEAM Very Good certified.