Unique imaging center taken into use at Amsterdam UMC

The Amsterdam UMC has taken a separate building for medical imaging into use at the VUmc Campus in Amsterdam (NL) today. This dedicated building houses a large and diverse selection of heavy, high-grade scanning devices. Amsterdam UMC’s Imaging Center is the only location in the world where production, clinical care, pre-clinical and clinical research and joint projects between academics and the private sector can all be found under one roof.

In 2010, Wiegerinck won a design competition organised by what was then known as VUmc. Entrants were invited to formulate their vision for a building where all activities associated with medical imaging techniques, a laboratory for scientific research and a production facility for medical isotopes and tracers would be brought together at one location: the new Imaging Center.

 

Essential step in the redevelopment of VUmc Campus

The official opening of the Imaging Center kicks off the redevelopment of the entire VUmc Campus. This redevelopment is intended to create a campus that is geared towards encounters, inspiration and the exchange of knowledge. To achieve this, the Botanical Garden will be transformed into a secluded courtyard that offers a pleasant environment for both patients and visitors to spend time in.

The Imaging Center is the first in an ensemble of buildings that will eventually enclose the entire courtyard garden. These buildings will all be linked with each other and the hospital in a coherent arrangement by means of a three-storey logistics ring. This logistics ring consists of a colonnade for visitors that encircles the courtyard, a continuous walkway that takes visitors and staff members past each of the buildings, and a logistics route below street level.

 

Design

VUmc aims to realise three distinct ambitions with its new Imaging Center: synergy, flexibility and sustainability.
The physical concentration of all imaging disciplines at one location is the first step towards a substantive synergy between the faculties. The new building is intended to promote synergy and collaboration between the different parties. The foundations of the design, in other words, are encounters, communication and collaboration. The building has already established itself as an interactive platform for a wide variety of users and visitors.

A complex building like this can be compared to a living organism, in which the different elements all fulfil a specific function and work together as organs to keep the whole alive. Each of the design themes refers to a specific part of the human body.

The feature that stands at most at first glance is the skin. This has been represented with the aid of a concrete framework with large glass panels. The glass sections have been covered with a print that creates a semi-transparent façade. Besides offering various advantages in terms of building physics and privacy, this outer layer is also a subtle indication of what lies inside the building.