Centre for child and adolescent psychiatry Herlaarhof

Centre for child and adolescent psychiatry, Vught

A temporary place to live that seems like 'home'

"With this design, EGM has created the best environment for a child's rapid return to his or her familiar home situation. And that is what our job is ultimately all about", says Rita van de Wouw, director of Herlaarhof.

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Centre for child and adolescent psychiatry Herlaarhof

A temporary home for children and young people with mental health problems

The Reinier van Arkel group is an institute that provides treatment for children and adults with psychological and psychiatric issues. The treatment is based upon the client's own strength and particularly stimulates autonomy and self-reliance. Herlaarhof, part of the Reinier van Arkel group, is an establishment for child and adolescent psychiatry in Care Park Voorburg in Vught. This is where children and young people receive personal guidance and support in order to be part of society once more and return to their familiar home situation. These youngsters require more privacy than most. As such, the starting points in the design for these vulnerable clients were tranquillity, homeliness, familiarity and security.

Living in a 'little village'

Together with the residents and employees, EGM designed a building that echoes the home situation as much as possible. Both indoors and outside. As such, from a distance, the four terraced houses look like a residential area or a small village in the middle of the wood. And the houses, with their pointed roofs, look like a cross between a holiday cottage and a house. Because of their style and the use of natural materials such as wood and plasterwork, the houses encapsulate friendliness and familiarity. Each house has its own front and back gardens and there is sufficient outside space to relax.

Just like home

A homely atmosphere has also been created inside, with sufficient space for children and young people to have a quiet space for themselves. Nothing in these surroundings brings to mind a bleak clinic. Each house has its own 'normal' front door, separate bedrooms and communal rooms like a seating area, a kitchen and a studio. All the wiring and cabling have been carefully obscured, warm colours have been used and materials have a welcoming yet robust appearance. In order to increase the feeling of a familiar haven, each house has its own colour scheme. The client, residents and employees are very enthusiastic about their new surroundings. A pleasant place to live and work. A place where residents feel at home. Exactly the way the client had envisaged.