The “Wooden Forest”, situated on a beautiful estate of Ipse de Bruggen Foundation in the heart of Holland, is a medical centre for adults with mental disabilities. More than 400 clients live at the residence, where they receive care and daycare activities are organised. For the specific needs of many of the patients a wide range of medical facilities and therapeutical services are provided by more than 100 staff members at the “Wooden Forest”.
To support specialized care, social integration with the local village is very important and encourages clients to integrate with the community. In return, local residents are permitted to use the medical and sports facilities at the centre, including the rehabilitation pool where kids can take swimming lessons.
Comprising a number of different entrances and exits over 4675 m2, the original building from 1978 was extended by an L-shaped corridor of 545m2 with one centralised entrance. The corridor features original vertical wooden elements, thus giving it the feel of walking through a forest. It leads to a large open space with views onto the newly designed outdoor area surrounding the centre. The building has been renovated with respect for the many of the original details, and all in a sustainable way. In addition, flexible office and meeting rooms have been newly created on the ground floor and the first floor. Andrea Möhn Architects was fully responsible for the interior design and integrated the residents in the design process by considering carefully to their needs and integrating suggestions and requests. The choice of materials and all its colouring had a marked weight in the whole process.
Strategic designers Silo created a spatial identity of beautiful illustrations. A wonderful world of ambiguous animals plays a trick on reality to stimulate the imagination of the users. The skin of the animals forms an antithesis to their archetypal qualities. Fluffy bunnies turn out to be prickly like a cactus and grey swine are made of precious shiny pearls. With these new graphics, the client is encouraged to orient and refer to space individually.
The solution lies in a combination of technological developments and the best that nature has to offer. With direct access from the entrance, primary medical functions can be found. Part of the building has a first floor, which has transformed into flexible office spaces. The combination of all these functions along with its new architecture and spatial organization restores the vital, central role the building was meant to fulfil. The building is a social centre for the village with social, medical and physical interaction. People get inspired, are enjoying there work once again and help to build the community.
AM__A Andrea Möhn Architects is an international architectural firm situated in Rotterdam, with 21 successful years producing bespoke, high-quality architecture in a range of scale and function. Our projects include new buildings and renovations in a variety of sectors including healthcare, private houses, residential developments, low-cost housing, student accommodation, commercial properties and landscape and urban design. Our main interests lie in the influence of the social, cultural and economic spheres upon architecture today. Our research in this field, as well as our extensive interaction throughout the design process with the clients, have had a significant impact on our work and approach. This multi-disciplinary approach resulting in numerous successful projects, many of which have received international attention and acclaim and appeared in publications around the world.
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