The new Jules Bordet cancer institute is located at the heart of the Erasme hospital complex and Anderlecht university campus. In order to get as close as possible to the existing main building, and to maintain potential for extension, the institute plays on being compact. A “monospace” that because of its position initiates an overall scheme, ensuring not only efficient links between existing and future buildings, but also possible developments for the institute and for the campus. This monospace was able to incorporate evolutions in the brief during design, and has even been elevated to incorporate an extra level. These improvements have demonstrated the pertinence of the hospital concept, its organisation over superimposed open floors, distributed via a central axis as part of a three-dimensional tree structure.
A double-height central route links the hall of the institute to that of the Erasme hospital. Punctuated with vertical circulation, it is a pragmatic solution to ensure the fluidity of circulation. But above all it proves essential in the quality of accommodation in the new building: it is both luminous, thanks to the courtyards that rhythm it, and welcoming, with its acoustic timber panelling. Incorporating a mezzanine that houses the research laboratories, it also illustrates a will: that of creating a spatial and functional union between medical practice and research.
Cancerology is an area of medicine that, perhaps more than any other, requires particular care regarding patients and their families. Consequently, the rooms are generously proportioned with panoramic windows that open up the space and provide uninterrupted, far-reaching views. Family lounges are also provided within each unit, enabling people to meet, exchange and think through what’s ahead of them. Convivial spaces for important and sometimes difficult conversations, to listen and hear, to face and digest medical results, results of the latest tests. Open to natural light on the facade, they are designed as a ‘home from home’, with a warm and cosy atmosphere.
Reconstruction of the cancer centre on the site of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) with integrated cancer research laboratories, 8 operating rooms, 250 hospital beds and 40 day hospital beds