Modern nursing and staff departments that facilitate staff as much as possible to care for the patient and support them in their recovery process
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This summer (2021) the Amsterdam UMC opened the first units in the newly renovated towers of patient rooms on the AMC site. The renovation of the towers is the most radical change since the monumental concrete hospital opened in 1983. The original design by Dick van Mourik and Marius Duintjer has been left as intact as possible in the process. The outdated nursing units have been thoroughly modernized by EGM architects and Wiegerinck architects.
With the renovated units, Amsterdam UMC is adding further substance to the ‘central role for the patient’ theme. This means that the wishes of patients are taken on board in the choices and decision-making process concerning treatment. That is why the new units contain as many single rooms as possible. These patient rooms are unique in the Netherlands. The architects have designed them so that the patient has a view of outside and of the corridor and nurses. In turn, doctors and nurses can see the patient from the corridor. This enhances the sense of safety and calmness for both the patient and care staff.
A lot of attention has been given to family and friends in and around the renovated nursing units. Engaging in contact with them and ensuring that they are in control speeds up recovery. In the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), parents and their newly born sick children occupy rooms of their own with plenty of privacy. That can have a positive effect on the recovery of mother and child. Moreover, there are innovative Couplet Care rooms where mother and baby can recover together. A glazed sliding partition allows the space to be opened up or screened off for optimal care and rest for both mother and child. Other new features include patient lounges between the units for relatives.
With this project we are optimizing the building in terms of both functionality and content for the next forty years
Frida van den Maagdenberg, member of UMC board of directors
The towers of patient rooms were so outdated that renovation was required. This thorough approach proved necessary owing to functional and technical obsolescence as well as changes resulting from the organizational merger of the AMC and VUmc to form Amsterdam UMC. The total assignment covers a total of 23,000 m2 floor area across 18 units. The first four have already opened. The whole project is a complicated ‘operation’ because the units are being renovated in phases, and they remain partly in use while work is ongoing. The safety of patients and staff is paramount, and all the renovation work should cause as little disturbance as possible. Careful planning is therefore essential.
A smart strategy has been developed to enable the nursing and staff units to function as optimally as possible during redevelopment. That involves temporarily relocating nursing units, and innovative solutions have been devised to ensure that renovation work proceeds as smoothly as possible. An example of such an innovative solution is that the construction logistics are largely organized through the roof. A huge air cushion is positioned on the glazed roof of the atrium to function as a crash deck during the facade renovation.
Sustainability plays a key role throughout the renovation. For instance, large sections of the facade are being tackled to improve the interior climate and reduce energy consumption. In addition, in the renovated towers the hospital is introducing new concepts in the areas of logistics, nutrition and ICT.
EGM architects, together with engineering firm Linssen, is responsible for the design of the entire renovation. Prior to this, Amsterdam UMC together with programme manager AT Osborne indicated that they would opt for a reversed design approach in which the staff and the patient are the starting point. On the basis of this starting point, Design Office MMEK' designed the patient room of the future. Eventually, Wiegerinck and construction company Heijmans took on the further engineering and implementation of EGM's design. During the final phase, which is currently ongoing, EGM acts as an aesthetic consultant to Amsterdam UMC, location AMC. The renovation is on schedule and will be completed in 2025.
Photography: Hanne van den Woude