GGNet psychiatric clinic campus
Apeldoorn (NL), 2011
This Master plan for the transformation of the GGNet psychiatric clinic involves the construction of several new psychiatric care clusters with shared facilities, care apartments for elderly people, service apartments and private homes. The re-use of the old and monumental buildings together with the smart positioning of new buildings create an ideal place for both patients and other inhabitants of the area, with plenty of space for nature and the park that is of great value to the whole neighborhood.
The ideas on integration for psychiatric patients have changed over the years. Where we used to think we had to separate psychiatric patients from society, we now propose reverse integration: by adding private homes and other facilities to the vicinity of the institution, both patients and new inhabitants profit from the new situation. By opening up the services for people from the neighborhood, everyone can use the institution’s facilities, in this case fitness, restaurant, tea house, bakery and potential new services such as theatre, bicycle repair shop, art gallery and organic vegetable shop. For the patients, the public park with the shared facilities functions as gateway to the outer world, it makes the transition from the inside to the outside soft instead of strict. The shared park becomes an attractive place, with shared facilities for both patients and the new inhabitants from the vicinity. By this configuration, patients and inhabitants learn to communicate and profit from each other’s presence. This informal way of bringing patient and society together stimulates a more successful integration and a possible way back to society than simply building patient homes in an existing neighborhood.
Inside the new psychiatric facility, verandas, porches, patios, gardens, allotments, a meadow and a park allow different degrees of social interaction and privacy, inside an overall protected environment. There are subtle transitions between inside/outside, public/private, open/closed and light and dark. The spatial concept is characterized by a variety ofspaces and different degrees of isolation, from protected and comfortable to open and social, depending on a patient’s individual needs and capabilities.The care cluster for demented patients for example is strategically positioned at the crossing of footpaths, from their veranda they can make a chat with people passing by, if they want.
The whole area is not just a safe and protected place, but also interesting and diverse, like a small village. This way it offers a lot of variety and many ‘learning experiences’ for longstay and temporary patients.To support this principle, the architecture of the new buildings does not refer to care institutions, but to appealing contemporary architecture and the buildings one can find in normal villages and cities.