What could be the future of hospitals is now being tested in Belgium

The French firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures is leading the construction of five new hospitals in the Walloon region with the ambition to redefine traditional models of healthcare.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures aims to test a new model of hospitals of the future, capable of redefining traditional models of healthcare. The Biophilia project involves the construction of five new hospitals, intended to form the largest hospital network in Wallonia.

These new architectures aim, according to the designers, to improve the patient experience, optimise recovery times and create a peaceful working environment, focusing on five key principles in the design phase: organisational efficiency, sustainability and circular economy, off-site hyper-standardisation, well-being and biophilia, and the landscaped openness of the sites towards the city.

The Parisian studio therefore presents a prototype of a hybrid ‘compact-stratified’ hospital, to achieve superior spatial efficiency and flow distribution. Volumetrically, the design is inspired by the “Power” logo, creating a building that integrates medical units and accommodation in a highly functional layout.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures, Biophilia, Belgium. Courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Inside, the medical-technical block is designed to have natural light penetrating through strategically positioned patios, with the roof transformed into a medicinal garden, while the accommodation block forms the outer circular segment.

Following this design methodology, the architects emphasise the importance of hyper-standardisation in the construction of the five hospital sites. The project uses standardised structural frames and repetitive modules for structural elements, facades, rooms, nursing units, operating theatres, bathrooms and furniture walls. This approach extends to roofs, canopies, gardens, planters and car parks, with the aim of achieving industrialised design, ease of maintenance and flexibility.

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