In beginning 2013 the last community health center of Leidsche Rijn opened its doors in the neighborhood of “Het Zand” and is currently operating successfully in the neighborhood. Community health centers are an important node in the social infrastructure of a new neighborhood. Versseput Architects made a design for the community health center while maintaining a strong dialogue with city planner Hans Ebberink. The horticulture past of Het Zand has been the starting point of the new building. The archetypical basic shape of the new building refers to the lines of the former greenhouses and sheds in the area. Besides general practitioners, physiotherapists and a pharmacy, the centre also houses the Centre for Youth and Family.
Architecture The architecture of the building is an abstraction of the traditional wooden barn. This abstraction is created by minimising the interruptions in the outer design of the facade, giving the building as much of a closed outer skin as possible. The facades are covered with plates of weathering steel in a tight grid of 1,200 x 1,200 mm, which emphasizes the simple appearance of the covering, like a wooden barn. Because the future use of the building was not the starting point in the design, an inscription at the entrance clarifies its function. Because of this, every future function of this building gets a full opportunity to unfold. Another view on sustainability.
Interior The interior and routing are based on an optimal orientation for the visitor. The waiting rooms have a central place in the building. A glass wall separates the waiting rooms from a surrounding hallway that provides access to the consulting and treatment rooms. The glass is printed with pictures of medicinal herbs. Pictures of fields of flowers have been designed for the walls of the treatment rooms. The flowers are made of fingerprints, a reference to the unity of mankind. The waiting room gives the waiting visitors a perfect panoramic view. Because of the several overlapping layers of prints, the visitors experience the waiting room as a leafy, sunny courtyard. The interior, made of white plastic and dark coated plywood, also designed by Versseput Architects, completes the overall design.
Sustainability A health centre asks for a natural and energy saving design. All the installations of the health centre are designed to collectively accomplish a 60% saving of energy compared to conventional installations. The lighting consists of high-grade digital CFLs, supplemented with LED-lighting. The building uses concrete core temperature control while additional heating and cooling takes place using a ground source heat pump (GSHP). The mechanical ventilation is fit with CO2-filtering.
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