Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal | The Plan
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Rehabilitation Centre Groot Klimmendaal

Architectenbureau Koen van Velsen

Permeability and openness are key features of the Groot Klimmendaal Rehabilitation Centre in Arnhem, a small town in eastern Holland. The building blends effortlessly with the surrounding forest, the filtered forest light permeating the building. The healthcare centre is open on another level too, being designed for use not just by patients but also by the local community. In fact it is part of a broader masterplan by architect Koen van Velsen to turn the area into a public park with three high-density buildings. The building merges into its forest setting thanks to its minimal footprint, slender stilts supporting the upper cantilevered levels, an almost fully glazed double-height ground floor, the bronze-coloured anodised aluminium cladding on the upper levels that help camouflage and dissolve this 14 000 square metre volume in the forest. The spatial distribution programme is immediately readable: offices below, healthcare services above, and the Ronald McDonald House on the roof. Transparency and permeability blend and dissolve interiors with the exterior, the double-height first floor glazing ensuring the least conspicuous of partitions. The glazed bow windows of the restaurant seem to bring the forest right into the room. From the inside, the full views and filtered light are an explicit invitation to occupants to make contact with nature, a key element of patient rehabilitation. For the healthcare concept underpinning the whole project is that a positive, stimulating environment contributes to patient wellbeing and successful rehabilitation. Hence the programme to make the centre a social meeting place for the wider community, open to all not just patients. The double-height ground floor also hosts the sports and fitness areas, a restaurant and theatre, all of which may are used by patients, their family and the general public. In this way both the healthcare centre and its patients are an integral part of the local community. The feeling of security and...

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