Renewed ER Europe Hospitals highly commended in Hong Kong

At the International Academy for Design & Health Congress in Hong Kong, the yearly International Academy Awards have been proclaimed. The renewed emergency services of Europe Hospitals were highly commended in the category “Use of Art in Public and Private Spaces”.

The International Academy for Design & Health organises congresses on a global scale, regarding health and the diverse factors that have an impact on it: design, science, culture and economics. Stakeholders of all kinds are present for this five-day exchange of knowledge, opinions and ideas. VK has been a participant at the Design & Health Congresses from the very beginning, and has given multiple presentations and lectures in the past.

An established yearly item are the Academy Awards, where international jury’s per category acknowledge excellence in research and practice. This year, VK participated with its design of the renewed emergency services of the Europe Hospitals. The recent project, which is very much appreciated by the medical staff, was highly commended in the category “Use of Art in Public and Private Spaces”.

In the medical and stressful environment of the emergency services, the designers integrated informal waiting areas for stress-reduction. Well though-out interior elements break through the clinical atmosphere, offering serenity and quiet. More information on the project page.

85 care professionals visit the renewed OR of Cliniques Universitaires

On June 24th, the Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc (the academic hospital of the UCL) together with VK Architects & Engineers organised a well-received visit to its newly renovated operating block. Some 85 care professionals took a look behind the scenes of the Brussels hospital.

UCL organised a request for an offer for the renovation of 6 operating rooms dating back to 1976. For laureate VK, the project came with some challenges. The program of requirements was very ambitious in light of the operating rooms being located in a confined environment at the heart of the operating block. Furthermore, the UCL demanded an extremely short period of construction.

The successful renovation was presented on June 24th to 85 professionals from the hospital sector. During the introduction, Renaud Mazy, CEO of CUSL, congratulated the entire design team on the realisation and especially on the short realisation time. Olivier Yckman, administrator of the operating block, and Anne-Sophie Marsin, director Strategy & Development, briefly presented the program of requirements and the broader context in which the hospital operates. Architect Patrick Spanneut, project manager for VK, briefly explained the design solutions that were applied. The presentation was concluded with a guided tour of the renewed OR, with a technical explanation by the architects and engineers.

Interbellum lodgings start second life

On June 17th, Saint Lazarus’ Court was officially opened, while the Cité Vandeuren in Ixelles is fully under development. Both projects are renovations of social housing from the interbellum period. VK contributes to the revaluation of this valuable heritage that is starting a second life.

Like many cities, Brussels has to deal with a shortage of housing. Consequently, in its regulations, Brussels Capital Region strongly focuses on “housing all the way”. The regional planning requirements safeguards the residential density. This includes budgeting for the renovation of social housing.

Saint Lazarus’ Court (dating from 1927) and Cité Vandeuren (from 1930) are cases in point. The valuable heritage from the interbellum period, respectively by architect Joseph Diongre and architect J. Caluwaers, no longer met the present living standards. In both projects, the accommodations are modernized to meet contemporary norms. This entails a reduction of the number of units: from 180 to 84 for Saint Lazarus’ Court, from 122 to 87 for Cité Vandeuren.

Saint Lazarus’ Court

The renovation of Saint Lazarus’ Court focused on quality of living, communal provisions (multifunctional hall, bike station …), the building services and energy savings. VK took charge of the entire engineering.

Structurally, the project was thoroughly adjusted, to transform the originally 180 units into 84 units with contemporary standards regarding comfort. Furthermore, a number of structural interventions improved the accessibility for disabled persons. Technically, the focus was directed on improving the thermal performance and modernizing the communal building services. A reduced energy demand is one of the requirements for receiving grants for the renovation of social housing. Developer Beliris invested €14,000,000 in the renovation of Saint Lazarus’ Court.

Cité Vandeuren

The renovation of Cité Vandeuren focuses on quality and diversity of living, revitalization of the courtyard and reducing the energy consumption. VK took charge of the structural engineering for this renovation.

The biggest challenge consists in conserving the existing facades at the front, while also improving their thermal quality. In addition, all existing lintel beams are being replaced, as well as the masonry on the interior and the existing floors. For the new rear facades, prefabricated elements of FSC-wood are being applied. Contractor Artes published a movie on YouTube of the construction site in March. Click here to watch it.

Completion is planned for the end of 2016.