A specialized clinic hosting treatment facilities and prevention centre is a relatively unexplored building type. A question arises of an appropriate expression and atmosphere of the building that could mediate its public character and a sense of intimacy and security.
The building spans a representative street Westersingel and Museumpark – a green area at the back of Museum Boymans van Beuningen and Kunsthal. An accessible location in the centre of Rotterdam makes the clinic part of the regular community life, not a secluded place of illness.
Taking advantage of the plot's location, a pedestrian connection is established between Westersingel and Museumpark, integrating the clinic with its surroundings and increasing its exposure and accessibility.
Pedestrian connection, facing Westersingel
The central point of the building is the entrance zone. From there, visitors can choose to either go to the treatment and physiotherapy, or to the prevention centre. The treatment and physiotherapy volume is organized around two courtyards, which act as both informal meeting space and circulation. The prevention centre has a more open character and relates to the street and entrance plaza.
Entrance plaza and prevention centre: glazed facade of the ground level housing a library, cafeteria and cooking school grants an insight to the interior. Tilted facade profiles of the upper levels containing staff facilities protect from southern and western sunlight.
Ground level: centrally located entrance zone (1) grants the visitors an overview of the building, to minimize confusion and encourage sense of security. Visitors can choose to visit the prevention centre's cafeteria and library (2), on appointment – go to the treatment wing and explore the courtyard (6) or wait for their meeting with a doctor (8) in one of the waiting rooms (7).
Level –1: proceeding downstairs from the entrance zone, one can reach an auditorium (10) and a conference room (11) – part of the prevention programme. Via dressing rooms (13) visitors can attend physiotherapy (14) and spa (5).
Roof's beam structure: an exposed wooden structure is a prevailing motif of the building inducing an informal atmosphere.
The courtyard – heart of the therapy wing – is a safe space for relaxation and informal encounters. The double–storey galleries surrounding the courtyard encourage interaction. During warm seasons the sliding windows on the ground level can be opened, blurring the boundary between interior and exterior.
Therapy wing cross-section: the roof slanted towards the courtyard allows more sunlight in and designates a focal point.