A professional healthcare facility that's close to nature

Welcome to the first ever 'lean' hospital in Netherlands

Zaans Medical Centre – Mecanoo furniture, interior design, lobby, table, gray
Zaans Medical Centre – Mecanoo

Architect: Mecanoo architectenClient: Zaans Medisch Centrum, ZaandamAbout the project: Zaans Medical Centre is the first 'lean' hospital in the Netherlands. This means it's an efficient and compact building in which professional healthcare and a personal approach strengthen each other. Architecture, urbanism, landscape and interior are brought together in a coherent design. Clear routing, an abundance of daylight, and positive distractions contribute to an environment that does not feel like a hospital, but as a place that promotes wellbeing.

Lean and future-proof

The smart lean design identifies five care processes: acute, elective, outpatient, clinic, and diagnostics. The clear stacking of two floors of outpatient clinics, two floors of clinical departments and a flexible facility layer between them, optimally serves these primary care processes. All departments are designed to prevent any form of waste. Whenever possible, the outpatient clinics and nursing departments are standardised, allowing for exchangeability and adaptability. The Zaans Medical Centre is therefore flexible and future-proof.

Zaans Medical Centre – Mecanoo furniture, interior design, lobby, table, gray
Zaans Medical Centre – Mecanoo

Positive distractions

The patient experience played a crucial role in the design process. Positive distractions can reduce the stress of a hospital visit and advance recovery. The spacious multi-storey lobby has the feel of a welcoming public building. Semi-circular voids and skylights, the use of wood, bright colours, good acoustics and unobstructed views of the surroundings provide a pleasant atmosphere. All hospital wards can be accessed from an internal street with many sheltered waiting areas. At either end of the street is a landscaped courtyard. Hand-drawn illustrations on walls, glazed partitions, and lifts refer to the industrial heritage of the Zaan region. A special spiral slide offers children an adventurous way to travel between levels.

Health district

Zaans Medical Centre – Mecanoo architecture, ceiling, daylighting, furniture, interior design, lobby, product design, table, gray, brown
Zaans Medical Centre – Mecanoo

Adjacent to the Zaans Medical Centre lies a health boulevard with a rehabilitation hotel, a pharmacy, eye clinic, various shops, a supermarket and a parking garage, designed to function as a small town. The smart combination of the medical centre and related healthcare services results in a health district for Zaandam and the region. The hospital was developed by the Zaans Medical Centre and Vitaal ZorgVast, and constructed by BAM, within time and budget. SILO Agency designed the illustrations and environmental graphics. The building is BREEAM Very Good certified.


38,500 m² hospital with acute centre (8 operating rooms), intensive care unit, cardiac care unit, outpatient clinics, theme centres according to the shop-in-shop principle (such as pain centre, exercise centre, Esperanz, cardiovascular centre), diagnostic centre, day care centre, hospitals (137 beds) with separate mother-child centre, laboratory, pharmacy, public functions, offices and meeting centre for the ZMC Academy and the parking garage for 700 vehicles.

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