Opening in September 2018, the new Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, transforms the academic hospital from a collection of separate buildings into a small medical city that’s home to 13,500 staff, 4,500 students, and thousands of patients.

The 2.2 million-square-foot facility, designed by EGM Architects (Dordrecht, The Netherlands), centers on creating a healing environment that promotes patient and staff welfare and reduces stress and errors. Spacious circulation areas, atriums, large fenestration, sunken patios, and plenty of greenery lend the medical center its identity, support easy wayfinding, and create a pleasant building to reside and work.

The basic layout is as simple as it is efficient: A daylight flooded central axis forms the spine of the complex, linking existing and new buildings in a logical manner. To give the large building a human scale, the public area is divided into streets and squares. Recognizable anchor points such as large reception desks, art objects, and grouped seating support easy wayfinding.

The busiest services, such as retail, outpatient wards, and the emergency department are located on the lower floors, so that the higher you go in the building, the intensity of the circulation lessens. The top floors house inpatient departments with access to a roof garden. In areas where daylight or views are impossible, sunken patios, biometric light, sky ceilings, and large-scale imagery are used to create a stress-reducing environment.

The concept of healing is also prominent in the private patient rooms, which use daylight, greenery, wood finishes, and soothing colors to create a homelike atmosphere. Patient autonomy is also supported with controls that allow patients to operate lighting, blinds, and temperature to their preference.

Project details:

Facility name: Erasmus Medical Centre

Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Completion date: December 2011 (completed); September 2018 (opened)

Owner: Erasmus Medical Centre

Total building area: 207.000 sq. m.

Total construction cost: N/A

Cost/sq. ft.: N/A

Architecture firm: EGM Architects

Interior design: EGM Interiors

Programming advisor: Ptg advise

Landscape architect: Juurlink [+] Geluk

Contracting: Bouwcombinatie Nieuwbouw Erasmus MC

Structural advisor: Aronsohn consulting engineers

Installations advisor: Royal HaskoningDHV

Building Physics: Ingenieursbureau Peutz bv