Customer: GasthuisZusters Antwerpen (GZA Group)
Projectomschrijving: This project contains the refurbishment of a listed chapel with wings, the building of a town square with an underground parking lot over 2 levels and an extension of the hospital.
Sint Vincentius Private Hospital Antwerp
Extension and refurbishment of the Sint Vincentius Hospital Antwerp
To extend the hospital with an underground parking lot with 266 places and a geothermal field with integration and refurbishment of a listed monument.
The hospital has an excellent location and easy accessibility and that is why it can play a major role in taking care of the care requirements of the city of Antwerp. The building’s functionality had been heavily disrupted by earlier successive adjustment and extension work which was not part of a global master plan. After the project had been assigned, the requirements specifications programme has been carefully composed in cooperation with all users’ groups. A thorough study and consultation with all urban planning departments resulted in a master plan to be carried out over 3 stages.
Oxygen for the neighbourhood
The brand new entrance area, which includes reception, will give the hospital a completely new look. The approach and experience really do start already on the square. One of the main options we have taken therefore is to build an underground parking lot. That way, we can return the square to the people and it will be able to take on its original function. Said square has been re-designed and equipped with cosy rest corners, play areas for children and a bicycle storage room. We topped it all off with surrounding hedges and trees which function as green area elements. We also added a central water feature with little fountains because that would complete our concept, adding an extra, lively touch. This square has a semi-public character, which helps to create a green oasis providing oxygen to the very busy urban fabric and which offers an integrated bridge to the hospital. The chapel and its wings and the new building enclose the square half and they give the impression that they embrace and welcome it. That is the way we remember it by the way from old pictures of the chapel and its monastery.
A delicate reconciliation
The integration of new buildings in the existing historic and listed walls was a very delicate operation. In the end a compromise could be found between the widely diverging visions of client, Urban Planning, Design Review Committee, Architectural Heritage, and the fire department and their often contradictory pieces of advice. At the request of local nature groups we integrated birdhouses for swallows in the walls of the new buildings.
The so-called H-block in the elongated wing houses its outpatients’ hospital on the ground floor, the psychiatry nursing departments on the first and second floors and a lecture hall and management offices on the third floor. The chapel’s walls have been refurbished both sides and behind it a new building was erected. It was allowed for the building to be less wide here so that is why these areas are better fit for the administration offices on the ground floor and for all kinds of consultation offices on the other floors. The attic can be used for lodgings for doctors who stay the night. At the left hand side of the chapel we built an entrance area with counters for reception and registration.
Thanks to some European support, we managed for the first time to build a geothermal pump underneath an urban building. The interior design and underlying vision for the entrance area won in 2008 the first Care Innovation Award, handed out by the professional press at the Healthcare Conference at Brussels.