HIS new tech

how a new medical-technical building optimises the distribution and utilisation of the essential functions of an existing hospital site


Delivered at the end of 2019 to Brussels hospital grouping ‘Hôpitaux Iris Sud d’Etterbeek-Ixelles’, the new medical-technical building (11.470 m² across five above ground and two below ground levels) completes the new organizational layout of the hospital site.

This marks the termination of a long operation essentially involving four major operations:

  • the development of a maternity and mother-and-child unit
  • a new kitchen for centralised production
  • a new administrative and reception building
  • underground car parking for visitors.The new Medical-Technical Building is located o the interior of the lot, to the rear of the site.

The new Medical-Technical Building is located o the interior of the lot, to the rear of the site. This complex extends to over 22.200 m².

Along with car parks for the personnel and the logistics facilities (the two basement levels), the new block accommodates a surgical day hospital equipped with four operating theatres (ground floor), a 9-bed intensive care unit, (first floor) an operations block with four operating theatres (second floor) a central sterilization service (third floor) and a fourth floor as yet unallocated.


programdesign and construction of the new medical-technical block of the Iris Sud hospitals (Etterbeek-Ixelles)
clienthôpitaux Iris Sud
addressrue Jean Paquot 63, Brussels Belgium
building typeheal
size11.470 m²
teamarchitect: assar architects
general contractor: Valens & Jansen finishings
stability study: Setesco
building services: Sweco (Marcq & Roba)

Organisation: flexibility, modularity and compactness

In view of the virtually constant need for modification/renovation, the new medical-technical building  has been conceived to be flexible and modular. This will reduce the number of technical constraints during later modifications.

This includes :

  • the facades, constructed with pillars/beams and breeze-blocks, will be able to be cut into at a later date in order to create new openings;
  • an ‘exterior skin’ with blades carries out the functions of sun-blind and visual filter, and creates the interactions between the exterior architecture and the interior functioning.

The new building is connected to the existing constructions via two walkways. This layout leads to a diversity of connections and differentiated flow management. It enables greater flexibility in the medical-technical unit and provides the possibility to install specific services on each floor.

The surgical day-hospital is designed to be ‘fast-track’. Compact and entirely located on the ground floor, on the same level as the main entrance, it only requires short distances to be covered by patients, on the same floor. It thus facilitates both interior communications (changing rooms / operating theatres / reawakening / rest) and internal movement. On top of this, the technical and logistical areas are located in the residual spaces, to the benefit of those areas dedicated to care. The central sterilisation unit is located above all of the services which depend on it. Waste materials are immediately evacuated via the basement levels.

The interior layout creates a timeless atmosphere – reflecting the state of mind of the occupants (personnel/patients) – characterised by the use of white and light grey, punctuated by a few touches of colour and of light wood motifs. Within the same concern for the psychological effect of colours, the notion of hygiene which is so central to the operating theatres, has been translated as blue/mauve. The ‘hope’ expressed by those in intensive care has been translated in green, and the ‘quality’ in yellow.