Prinses Máxima Centrum

Prinses Máxima Centre is the result of an initiative to set up a single national children’s oncology centre in the Netherlands. The unique centre that has opened in June 2018 brings together all complex strands of care and research and has made it its mission to cure as many children as possible of cancer while maintaining their quality of life. Prinses Máxima Centre wants to be at the heart of society and takes responsibility for a sustainable approach to resources and the environment. This is also reflected in the carbon-neutral solid bamboo panels and beams that were installed as stairs and ceiling panels. Bamboo creates a warm, welcoming atmosphere and contributes to a healthy indoor climate thanks to its compliance with strict European emission standards.

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Text written by H. Weijer, Weijer Communicatie, for BOQUE 2018

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How can you design a health centre that promotes the healing of child cancer?

LIAG Architects were happy to accept this almost impossible commission for the new Princess Máxima Centre for Paediatric Oncology in Utrecht. They found the key to combining cancer research and treatment for children in one building, according to architect Thomas Bögl of LIAG Architects.

Natural course between inside and outside

The Princess Máxima Centre, the largest children’s oncology centre in Europe, brings together the expertise in the field of care and research at the highest level. Bögl supported the desire to go to 90-100% child cancer cure in the design. And yes, that is possible. For example, by combining research and treatment in one centre. Research and experience show that if researchers are directly involved, the treatment improves enormously. This is reflected in the design in the way in which the architect created a natural course between inside and outside, and between the world of children and research. The main route is a meeting place for children, parents, doctors, nurses and researchers.

Eyecatcher

“One of the most beautiful eye-catchers is the central staircase made of bamboo panels,” says Paul Vriend from MOSO®. “It’s made of Solid Bamboo Panels in the colour Side Pressed Caramel. The panels are made of small strips, cut from giant bamboo stems. After harvesting, the stemsare sawn lengthwise into strips. These strips are naturally light yellow, but steamed they get the colour of caramel. In the Bamboo Panels Side Pressed Caramel, the strips are placed vertically next to each other and glued together. This variant has a fine line pattern in which the bamboo nodes are still subtly visible. In the Princess Máxima Centre, in addition to the stairs, the banisters and stair posts are cladded with these bamboo panels. The ceiling is partly covered with bamboo beams in a ceiling system. This gives these spaces a friendly, warm and open character, so that children and their family members immediately experience a homely feeling.”

"Everyone knows that if a child is affected by cancer, it causes enormous stress in the family. We have tried to solve this by parent-children rooms: a room for the child with a room for the parents connected to it."

Architect Thomas Bögl, LIAG Architects
More about Bamboo Solid Panels

Acoustics

Good acoustics is an important point to reduce stress. Thomas Bögl, LIAG Architects: “We know from all kinds of studies we have done in advance that patients in hospitals often don’t sleep well. One of the reasons is noise pollution. Take the infusion pump: it is normally always next to the bed, and it makes quite a lot of noise. We solved that by making a tube through the wall to the pump, which is in the corridor.”

MOSO Bamboo used in Prinses Maxima Centre in Utrecht

Natural materials

Natural materials also help to reduce stress in a room. “For example, the use of bamboo on the ceiling gives a warm atmosphere in the centre, which helps to create a feeling of home”, Bögl underlines the story of Paul Vriend of MOSO®. “In addition, bamboo is a sustainable material, suiting this very sustainable building. Because of the budget, it is not BREEAM certified, but it would otherwise have achieved Excellent.”

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Interested?

“A project that makes use of MOSO® Bamboo Products offers several advantages compared to wood and other alternative materials, plus MOSO® Bamboo will last for years to come.”

Paul Vriend
Area Sales Manager MOSO International BV, the Netherlands

Paul Vriend MOSO Bamboo expert
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