Located in Groningen, Netherlands, Martini Hospital was designed by Burger Grunstra architecten adviseurs. The client’s brief for the Martini Hospital in Groningen was tested on a number of important frequently arising departments such as a nursing ward and an outpatient clinic. This study resulted in the ideal dimensions for a uniform building block of 60m by 16m with an area of a 1.000 m². This building block thereby acquired a useful property in that it could be completely functionally changed during the design phase as well as afterwards once in use. The 16m width is a deviation from the typical dimensioning of Dutch hospitals and allows for the possibility of more daylight penetration.
With a lot of research and development the architects managed to integrate the IFD (Industrial, Flexible, Demountable) principles right through to the detailing. With the help of system partition walling, technical couplings and fixed furniture it is possible to make changes at room level without disturbing adjacent rooms. Fixture points for electrical, medical gases and water are portable as well as reception desks and cupboards. The metal system partition walling not only offers a special flexible layout but also offers new design possibilities to create a less clinical atmosphere in the hospital rooms.
The very functional basic scheme of the hospital is adapted to its surroundings and presents itself as a public building, curved from towards the city. The other zigzag form of the building lines up with the surrounding building directions. These two different forms give outside spaces their own unique character and therefore make inside and outside orientation relatively easy.
The strength of the interior design is that Bart Vos stepped into this project without any hospital experience. Because of this an irregular solution was found, and the interior of the Martini hospital is not decoration, rather the soul of the interior is tightly bound to the architecture. Rules were made for the application of colour and applied in a consistent and clear manner. The architects have incorporated IFD principles consistently in the fixed furniture, and designed a matrix which resulted in an industrial design for the reception desks, kitchen counters and cupboards.
The four exterior materials: plaster, steel, glass and timber together with the used colours make the building clearly recognisable as a healthcare facility. The boxes in the glass facade and the dynamics of the sunshades and slats means that the building will allows be moving just like healthcare in the 21st century.