client: Institute for building health institutions
location: Markermeer
realisation: 2008
program: health landscape 2025, city for 160.000 inhabitants

In the Markermeer, located northeast from Amsterdam, a new city is built on the interface of land and water where healthy natural qualities are optimal. All care facilities are concentrated on an axis whereby an efficient system of healthcare takes shape. The different care buildings form and influence the landscape that promotes movement and well-being. This landscape runs through the city as a backbone where the additional urban supplies and living- and working areas are situated to the edges. The city accommodates not only all the necessary care supplies for the future, but is healthy itself. For organisation and spatial flexibility a modular grid existing of triangles and squares is introduced. The care axis landscape is formed because the grid can easily be distorted in height. The grid accommodates sloping planes, buildings and infrastructure. Shrink and growth can be regulated with this modular system by simply adding or removing volume within the limits of the grid. Healthcare is transformed from a reactive into a preventive system based on a healthy society. 

People desire tailor-made care. For this reason it is important to leave the institutional character of healthcare and to opt for a more social system which functions logistically and economically more efficient and reacts to future energy shortage. By joining different parts of healthcare only if strictly necessary and taking the other components apart, complexity can be drawn out of healthcare and the offer of care can fit the needs of the individual better.

Climate changes ask for some interventions. By cutting channels of water through the city the area of surface water increases and the distribution of rainfall gets easier. Also a sudden rising of the water level can be coped with better. Overflow areas for water storage are planted with forest. This way a healthy production of oxygen and wood becomes guaranteed. The care axis is located on the border of the new land and the water. Supply of cool air over the water and the qualities of the green areas meets at that spot. 

Intelligent building systems must contribute to a healthy city. Use of alternative energy sources, such as wind-, solar- and hydro energy, storage of warmth in earth layers, storage of rainfall and reduction of CO2 emission are keywords

urban designHeleen van Heel