The new Rijnveste is the biggest psychiatric hospital in The Netherlands. About 23.500m² gross floor area is divided over seven floors of policlinics, clinics, therapeutic functions, leisure and offices. The urban block in which the hospital is located also houses a parking and student housing. The psychiatric hospital is situated next to the Leiden Academic Hospital (LUMC), the Leiden University and the central Railway station. In contrary to many psychiatric hospitals The New Rijnveste has a low threshold, that is why it is located in middle of the city and not at the city its periphery; the vision of Rivierduinen Foundation, the principal, is that psychiatric healthcare should be accessible for everyone! Mental disease should not be locked away at the edge of the city from everyday life, but rather be integrated in its environment. From the outside the building looks like an office building or a public building otherwise than a psychiatric institution. The exterior façades are directly located at the construction limits of the site, hereby a closed urban block with interior courtyards is formed. The exterior façades integrate inside the fabric of the city, but the interior façades together with the interior courtyards unfold a pleasant atmosphere. All semi-public functions such as policlinics are located in the beginning of the spatial structure, while moving deeper inside towards the building its heart, the rather private functions such as the clinics and high-care facilities are located.

Location: Leiden, The Netherlands
Client: Rijnveste Hospital
Date: 2008 - 2012
Category: $pecial, Landscape Architecture, Public Space