5 Sep 2016

A new 25,000 m2 oncology centre is planned for Belgium’s largest hospital in Leuven. By combining a patient-centred design with international standards for cancer treatment and care, over 35,000 patients a year will receive the best possible treatment with the aim to improve their quality of life. The €3 million design and engineering contract for the centre has been awarded to a consortium led by Dutch architects Wiegerinck and Royal HaskoningDHV.

UZ Leuven | Royal HaskoningDHV © Wiegerinck

Image: artist impression of the oncology centre by Wiegerinck Architects | © Wiegerinck

The oncology centre consolidates and upgrades existing oncology facilities at University Hospitals Leuven. A single multidisciplinary unit will diagnose and treat patients from across the country, while also coordinating clinical research and prevention programmes. It will act as a tertiary referral centre of international repute, and accommodate Belgium’s largest centre for allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Annemie Glorieux, head of URS management at University Hospitals Leuven: “This will be a centre of excellence, delivering highly specialised and sophisticated cancer treatment. Wiegerinck and Royal HaskoningDHV understand the challenges of the hospital environment and bring with them considerable experience from the highly rated Dutch healthcare system. Total cost of ownership was also an important criterion for us and we were impressed with features such as low energy requirements and durability.”

Total cost of ownership

The consortium was awarded the contract after winning an international design competition. Wiegerinck is responsible for the architectural and landscape design and Royal HaskoningDHV for the structural design, building services, acoustics, fire safety and project management. This team has been strengthened by local design agency LOW architecten.

Eduard Boonstra, International Business Development Director at Royal HaskoningDHV: “This will be a building for the future which operates with virtually zero energy, and has the flexibility to adapt as requirements change. In addition, our modelling work, which includes total cost of ownership methodology, aids decision making for scenarios like patient flow, clinical pathways, organisation and quality.”

UZ Leuven | Royal HaskoningDHV

Discussing the architectural plans, Koen Arts, senior partner at Wiegerinck said: “We have designed the building to support and strengthen the aims of the client. The experience of the patient is central. By assessing processes and logistics, and developing links with buildings across the hospital campus, we build in comfort, convenience and efficiency.”

The new centre will be built at the hospital’s Gasthuisberg Campus and linked to other buildings on the campus. Construction has been carefully planned to avoid disruption to ongoing hospital activities.

Proven track record

This is the latest project win for what has been a successful partnership between Wiegerinck and Royal HaskoningDHV. They have worked together on a number of hospital projects in the Netherlands, including VU University Medical Imaging Centre in Amsterdam, Gelre Hospitals and a new health care campus at Hilversum. They are currently working on a laboratory project at Leuven University.