Amsterdam UMC Bed Towers

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Major renovation,
huge collaboration

The renovation of the Academic Medical Center (AMC) in Amsterdam, part of the Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC), is the largest reconstruction the building has seen since it was completed in the early 80s. The nursing wards, or “bed towers”, totaling 23,000 m² will be almost completely renovated in phases without interfering with daily care processes. The renovation will bring single and double rooms and a new nursing environment for the Neonatology Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for premature and seriously ill newborns.

Context

Unique situation

For us, this assignment was unique in every way—not only because the AMC is a prestigious client but also because the preliminary design had already been developed by EGM a few years earlier. For the final design, we were brought in by the contractor, Heijmans, who, at the AMC’s request, was seeking an architect with experience in medical renovation. This was a special situation that we have not often experienced on this scale. It has resulted in tremendous enthusiasm, constructive collaboration and wonderful solutions.

Solution-oriented like never before

Together with Heijmans, we got to work and eventually won the tender for the entire design and realisation process. It was both unusual and unique to work so intensively with a contractor and to come up with the best possible solutions together. As architects, you never get this close to the fire so early in the design process. We learned a lot about how contractors operate, especially during our many discussions with mechanical and electrical engineers. Conversely, a contractor rarely has to deal directly with the architect so early on in the project, except perhaps during the drafting phase. Heijmans had the opportunity to discover just how involved, constructive and hands-on Wiegerinck can be. Together, we found a solution for everything!

First phase

Second phase

Third phase

Pushing boundaries

In short, everyone pushed the boundaries of their discipline in this assignment, which led to unprecedented openness and a solution-oriented approach—down to the smallest details. The same can be said for all AMC employees and nurses involved in the project. We were particularly touched by the NICU staff, whose engagement in the renovation of their working environment was particularly inspiring.

“The AMC building is a modern monument. In an unusual, but very inspiring setting, we have worked out the design aesthetically and technically while leaving the building’s unique features untouched.”

Martijn van Bentum
Associate Partner / Architect

“The AMC building is a modern monument. In an unusual, but very inspiring setting, we have worked out the design aesthetically and technically while leaving the building’s unique features untouched.”

Project data

Location
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Functie
Renovation of standard nursing ward, CCU, NICU and staff departments
Size
23,000 m² GFA
Period
2019 – 2021
Status
In progress
Client
Heijmans
User
Amsterdam UMC
Team
Martijn van Bentum, Jasper Pennings, Anne Smulders, Rik van Kleef, Barry van Binsbergen, André Teunissen, Reinier Blankenvoort, Hratc Hovanisian, Joris Alofs, Luuk van Ingen
In collaboration with
Peutz, Kwakman, VLAQ groep, van Vonderen, Blitta, Keijsers Interiors (Preliminary design: EGM and Linssen)