Jessa Hospital, Hasselt, Belgium

Robbrecht en Daem architecten, together with osar architects, has won the design competition for the Jessa Hospital in Hasselt, Belgium. The design is driven by a renewed search for the human scale of the hospital. In this search a contradictory question arises: how can a hospital with an immense surface area (135,000 m2) achieve the necessary small scale and humanity through its architecture? The response is not to put 'the patient' at its centre, but rather 'the patients'. A fundamental distinction between three different care profiles was made and gave each of them their own architectural and landscape design, resulting in the Panorama Wing, the Park Wing and the Medical Technology Centre. Longer hospital stays and treatments involve morals, expectations and perspectives that are different from short stays. They require a completely distinct setting, rather than just another floor with different medical equipment. Unlike the views from the Panorama Wing or the winter gardens on each floor, the Park Wing, organised around patio gardens, provides views and access to a more intense, stimulating natural environment and to a full-fledged tree park. 
The human scale is not only sought from within, but also at the level of the wider surroundings. For instance, by avoiding traffic through the site, we want to connect cycling and walking networks and offer space for everyone (from passers-by to patients, employees, visitors...) to be able to relax in green surroundings. Precisely by partially elevating the hospital in the Panorama Wing, green space is generously kept free, allowing the landscape to have a prominent role in the design. The building makes way for open space and becomes an instrument for experiencing it. In addition to the new health campus, the Salvator Plus site ­– which is being developed into a high-quality forest park – is also part of the assignment.
Jessa Hospital
Robbrecht en Daem architecten, osar architects
Design for a hospital that is driven by a renewed search for the human scale of the hospital
Hasselt, Belgium
Floor Area
135.000 m2
Paul Robbrecht, Hilde Daem, Johannes Robbrecht, Els Kuypers, Tom De Moor, Jan De Ruyver, Toon Claerhout, Bert Schellekens, Wim Voorspoels, Jeffrey Berghman
Structural Engineering
Services Engineering
Urban Surroundings
Transport & Mobility
Transport & Mobility Leuven