Meeting. Communication. Collaboration. Those were the key words for the design of the Amsterdam UMC Imaging Center. A building in which radiological research on patients, clinical research and isotope production could all happen in the same place for the first time. The project was an excellent challenge for us, especially given the desired compactness for the new building, which would be built in the Amsterdam Zuid business district.
How do you create such a compact building with enough space for a wide variety of users, where everyone feels comfortable? We started with the people with serious health problems who come in for an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. Then, we considered the many clinical researchers who need a pleasant environment where they can work without being disturbed. And finally, we thought about the employees responsible for the production of indispensable isotopes that are distributed to hospitals throughout the Netherlands.
We designed an interactive platform for a very diverse group of users. The whole process took a lot of searching, thinking, and trying. In the end, we dissected the building according to the human body, creating an analogy that we could use as a basis to test whatever we came up with.
There’s a skeleton that holds everything together logically. The lungs of the building are formed by a large, light-filled void, where arriving patients are received by a hostess. All the technology, cabling, air circulation and ventilation have been conceived as the building’s blood circulation. And the building’s senses are the senses of all the patients, visitors and staff—starting with their sense of safety and security.
Bringing so many functions together under one roof called for a pioneering design. An additional requirement was that the building needed to be easily adaptable to accommodate the lightning speed of medical developments. After the project was completed in 2019, our client concluded that the Amsterdam UMC Imaging Center fully met their needs and desires and has become an icon in Amsterdam Zuid—something we’re very proud of!