In 1999 two hospitals, Maria Middelares in Ghent and Sint-Jozef in Gentbrugge, merged to form GH Maria Middelares.
In 2001 the Government of Flanders recommended that all acute care be combined in one hospital with 600 beds, on the site in Kortrijksesteenweg. A care strategic plan was drawn up and a team of architects, EGM/LLOX, was appointed after a competition in 2003.
The new U-shaped hospital consists of three buildings: two almost parallel blocks, which serve as the base for the third block, with wards, which straddles them. An atrium is thus created in between the “plinths”, which plays a key role becoming a striking design feature. The spacious and light atrium welcomes patients and visitors in a transparent and clear manner. From here it is easy to get to the various departments. Wayfinding is no longer a concern thanks to the hospital’s compact and logical structure with short walking distances and a clear circulation pattern.
The entire concept has been developed around and for patients. Patients who act independently as long and as much as possible. The building’s surroundings, the interior, the fittings and the signage facilitate and encourage this.
The various units have a lot of natural daylight thanks to floor to ceiling windows and deep openings in the façade and patios. The contact with the surrounding area helps patients orient themselves as well as having a stimulating effect.
The hospital is extremely sustainable thanks to the internal and external flexibility and the far-reaching energy efficiency. The compact concept achieves a K-level of 23 as well having rainwater collection, green roofs, a BEO field, heat pumps, co-generation, a comprehensive building management system and daylight-controlled LED lighting.
The site’s further development, which has been set out in a master plan, will embed the hospital in a health park with a lot of prospects for the future. A health park which will only further enhance and shape the concept of a “healing environment”.
This project was completed in cooperation with EGM Architects