On Friday, June 8, 2018, general manager of AZ Sint-Maarten Jan Ennekens cut the tape of the new hospital, in the presence of Ministers Jo Vandeurzen and Maggie De Block. With this new state-of-the-art hospital, AZ Sint-Maarten lifts the quality of medical care in the Mechelen region to an even higher level. VK Architects & Engineers, designer of the new hospital, took the opportunity to present this wonderful project to some 350 healthcare professionals in a number of successful events.
More than a decade after winning the 2007 architecture competition, VK is proud to show this unique project to the world, realized in the best of understandings with all design and construction partners. AZ Sint-Maarten is a regional hospital which combines 3 campuses in one brand new building along the Mechelen ringway.
The new hospital counts 654 hospitalization beds (about 50% of which are single bedrooms), 96 ambulant beds and an ample consultation area (polyclinic). Some 1,700 employees are linked to the hospital and will make it their new working place in October. Jan Ennekens: “The new hospital was a unique opportunity to reorganize the operational aspect and to tailor the infrastructure as best as we could to ongoing evolutions: increasing medical possibilities, even more specialties, the aging population, and increased care intensity.”
In close consultation with the client, much attention was paid to comfort, privacy, ergonomics, the environment, and safety. The multitude of glass surfaces offer patients nearly continuous visual contact with the world outside. Each patient has his own sanitary facilities, as well as a view on greenery, and an internet-TV with lots of functions … In all, a healing environment.
A building concept driven by care
Keeping efficiency in mind, the circulation flows of the various user types (patients, visitors, employees, logistics, suppliers) were mapped and converted to an intelligent layout. The care boulevard, accessible from the main entrance, forms the hospital’s core. Services that closely work together have been positioned next to, on top of or underneath one another, and are easily accessible thanks to clear wayfinding.