The new High Intensive Care Centre of GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord in Heiloo, located in the St. Willibrordus estate, will provide recovery-oriented treatment, rehabilitation and support services for individuals who experience serious and persistent mental illness, and require a higher level of support in order to stabilise and return home safely to complete their healing process.
GGZ NHN has a long history, dating back to 1928, the year when the St. Willibrordus Foundation was incepted. The complex was completely self-sufficient and had a wide variety of buildings. While the process of ‘reversed integration’ took place, the site became gradually more open to the community: buildings were opened up for the citizens of Heiloo and surroundings, for work or recreation. The new HIC is part of a larger vision designed by Mecanoo, for the reorganization of the estate. Based on the principles of “Redesigning Psychiatry”, the new HIC contributes to the recovery of its clients by serving as a healing and guiding environment.
Creating a balance between freedom and safety, Mecanoo proposes a sequence of spaces that are carefully designed for the senses, following a user-centred approach. The spaces, ranging from lower to higher stimuli, allow for a seamless transition between home and the temporary intake. The rooms provide a safe and adaptable space for the individual and are part of a cluster where clients and employees can meet and share meals.
A central internal street that connects all clusters ensures clear orientation and visual connections for the clients. The meandering spine is characterised by a succession of closed and open vistas of the spacious green courtyards and lush roof terraces between the clusters, that ensure a strong relationship with the surrounding landscape. The pavilion-like building is wrapped by a canopy that provides for a smooth transition between the inside and outside spaces.
The new HIC innovatively combines the care for children, adults and the elderly under one roof, allowing for collaboration and more efficiency. There are 60 rooms: 6 clusters of 10 beds, with their own kitchen and living room. Furthermore, there are various common areas, consultation rooms, offices, an IC department and rooms for relaxation and therapy.
The materialisation ensures sensorial comfort for the client. Wood structures the main spaces and warms up the space both visually and physically, while the clusters are constructed to allow for maximum future flexibility and optimal acoustic experience. Both interior and exterior are defined by warm and natural materials, with planters connecting to the views from every space.