RZ Tienen

competition design • not implemented
design of a new hospital (competition design, highly commended second place)

project characteristics

RZ Tienen held a design competition to find a team to design and oversee the creation of its new-build hospital. RZ Tienen is a medium-sized, NIAZ-accredited hospital with three campuses – two in Tienen and one in Aarschot – and a medical centre.

programdesign of a new hospital (competition design, highly commended second place)
clientRZ Heilig Hart Tienen VZW
addressKliniekstraat 45 • 3300 Tienen
building typeheal
expertisesarchitectureinterior architectureb.i.mlandscape designurban design & planningprogramming
sizeapprox. 43,000 m² • 700 parking spaces
team• client: RZ Heilig Hart Tienen vzw
• structural engineering: Fraeye & Partners
• technical engineering: Sweco Belgium
• landscape architect: Stramien

The hospital has around 800 staff members and 167 doctors across the three campuses. There are 303 authorised beds, 192.000 consultations per year, 286.000 patient contacts,  19.000 surgical procedures and around 600 deliveries.

RZ Tienen planned to build a unified campus from the two existing campuses in Tienen in the form of a phased new-build. The design competition related to the design of this new-build hospital, the preparation of a master plan and financial technical plan and the phased monitoring and supervision of the creation of the unified campus in Tienen.

The typical hospital mindset is pathogenic, focusing on where diseases arise and how we tackle their causes. Our design philosophy turns this completely on its head: we focus on well-being and health by applying the principles of salutogenic design in architecture, landscaping and engineering. By doing so, we ensure an unprecedented connectedness between these different areas and create a hospital environment that is extremely welcoming – not just to
all the hospital’s users, but to local residents and for nature, so that the hospital becomes a friendly, sociable neighbour in its city. With this modest, natural hospital, we wanted to give RZ Tienen a unique identity, distinctive position, and complementary added value within its network and immediate setting.

The design team aimed to give the hospital a human, local and understandable character. The design was intended to underpin a healing environment, not by artificial means, but by entering a tangible relationship with the city, neighbourhood and environment.

A care infrastructure (in the broad sense of the word) was wanted that would be seen in a positive light by both hospital users and the local community: the care environment on a human scale. The design therefore took the landscape and the neighbourhood as its starting points; existing qualities were reinforced, and any disadvantages mitigated.

The hospital interacts with its environment and takes account of the capacity of the city and the neighbourhood. This also makes the site a driver of sustainable urban development, seeking a win-win relationship with the neighbourh ood and city as far as possible. This integration with the environment and the community prepares the hospital for the profound transformations in care provision, which is moving towards local and social  “care accommodation” close to people.