The Living Building Concept was the reason for the Gemini Hospital to put out a call for tenders in 2008 for “a living building.” Three consortia consisting of a combination of designers and contractors were selected to share their vision. SEED architects as part of Helder Oranje (Bright Orange), made the winning design.



A new hospital at a new location. With Planetree and the Living Building Concept as the main themes in the design of this new 25 000 m2 size hospital. The Planetree approach helps to create a pleasant environment for both patients and staff, while the Living Building Concept ensures that the building can shrink or expand depending on the demands of time. The combination of the two gives both emotional and rational benefits.


Light and space
The apparent differences in approach are united in the design with the creation of two highly flexible and rational building blocks (the Gemini twins) parallel to each other with an organic shape sheltered between. It is especially designed as a living building, so that it can change and can even get a completely different function. At the same time it offers the users an environment as light and as natural as possible. The organically designed main building part is the connection between two “rational” building blocks and is the main place for meeting and relaxation. The spacious and bright environment is, combined with the views to the greenery outside, an optimal healing environment. The positioning on the first floor makes sure that the cars parked under and directly adjacent to the building are out of sight. The shape of this part of the building is determined by the walking lines between the two long blocks where the (outpatient), clinical features are located.

Patient Room
The wings are reached from the connecting middle section via the stairs. These are visible from the outside through the large windows and the fact that they are in the highest parts (elevation points) of the wings. The users keep overlooking the natural surroundings until they reach the internal corridors. All the patients have a private room. Floor to ceiling windows provide views at ground level. A part of the fixed furniture can be converted into a bed. In this way visitors or nurses can also spend the night there. The flexibility also applies to the layout of the departments, because the walls are movable.

The hospital is uniquely situated between two seas. The adjacent dune landscape has been an inspiration for the design. The undulating, stepped shape of the parallel blocks relates the complex tightly to the dunes and passing container ships at sea. The facade consists of modular and perforated steel panels. Each panel shows the same fragment of the dune landscape and by making the perforation different in size, panels with four different “shades of gray” were created. This grayscale fragment of the dunes on a large scale is drawn over the entire building. On this scale, it works modularly: when adding or removing a portion of the building, the picture will not change substantially. A permanent living building.


The basis for a little waste producing building for the long term, as a continuous changing hospital is, is incorporating adaptability. The design for the Gemini Hospital has incorporated adaptability at all different levels: ground level, building level, department level and room level. Both architectural issues as well as technical components are relatively easy to adapt so that the building can support any change in the organization.

Low maintenance
Under the influence of the Living Building concept, in which the commitment to the maintenance of the building for 25 years went with the call for tenders, maintenance has been a strong criterion in the choice of materials. Nevertheless, there a lot of “natural” materials have been used such as wood, concrete and steel.

With regard to energy management modern techniques have been included in the design of the hospital. In particular the cold and heat storage in the ground creates a huge buffering of naturally available energy. And the façade system allows a very high insulation level.

DESIGN: 2009-2010
SIZE: 25.000M2 GFA, 200 BEDS
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