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AZ Zeno Hospital

AZ Zeno Hospital: Futuristic, functional and sustainable

More than just a traditional hospital, the AZ Zeno Hospital is an architectural innovation that integrates world-class medical care and rehabilitation with smart and sustainable design solutions.

Its win at the World Architecture Festival 2018 in the Health, Completed Buildings category is testament of the smart hospital’s boundary-pushing innovative design.

The hospital located in the northwest coastal region of Knokke-Heist, Belgium, was designed to be a healing environment that helps patients recover faster, as well as offer a comforting space for staff and visitors.

The consortium of architecture firms involved in the project included DETOO Architects, a member of B-DNA, B2Ai and AAPROG Architects.

Built on a 20 ha site, the 44,000m² facility comprises a 324-bed hospital, event rooms, public spaces, an auditorium and heliport.

A stellar example of living architecture, the design of the entire facility was carefully planned to integrate with the natural landscape and create a seamless connection between its care facilities and public spaces, as well as incorporate the use of green materials and energy-saving methods for sustainability.


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It was an achievement considering that the team had no brief about the theme of the project.  “We won the ambitious European competition to build AZ Zeno’s new hospital, purely based on their program requirements and reference images from the design proposal. The design and inspiration were entirely conceived by our team of architects,” said Serge Lefevere, CEO, DETOO Architects.

The hospital’s intelligent spatial design — inspired by Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte — makes the building appear as though it sits above ground. This design consideration allows natural light to enter all the way through to its underground spaces, creating an inviting environment.

Particular consideration was also given to the hospital’s furniture, which was provided by designer furniture company, Art Nivo.

“The furniture had to complement the hospital’s beautiful and innovative architecture. Keeping the hospital’s healing theme in mind, we made sure that furniture in areas such as patient rooms, consultation and waiting areas answered that need in terms of functionality, detail and design,” said Peter Bobeck, CEO and Founder of Art Nivo.


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