Pushed into the Forest

Pushed into the Forest

Groot Klimmendaal

Despite its impressive massiveness Koen van Velsen’s “Groot Klimmendaal“ rehab center in Arnheim melts perfectly with the surrounding city forest.


The hospital Groot Klimmendaal, located at the Western border of  the city of Arnheimand the Southern edge of the “De Hoge Veluwe“ forest area, is where people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and other diseases will find treatment and rehab. At the beginning of 2010 the location was expanded and modernized by a new main building designed by Hilversum architects Koen van Velsen. The open architecture of the four-story building allows plenty of daylight to get inside and a fabulous view across the surrounding nature. The powerful interior coloring sets another highlight.

Design rich in Contrast

The medically documented insight that a stimulating and natural environment has a positive effect on the recovering process of patients, is not new. However, it is rarely realized as consequently as with the Groot Klimmendaal rehab center in Arnheim. The building’s impressive architecture blends into its green environment in such a way that the edgy new building can hardly be spotted despite its large volume and modern design.

Towards the South the fully glazed first floor opens up through five tooth –shaped “punched out” oriels towards the forest and protrudes five meters into the air above a little slope. Towards the opposite direction Koen van Velsen has broken up the compact massiveness of the building through a widely projecting upper floor resting on slender stilts, which now roofs a mighty porch roof above a small forecourt. Another characteristic detail of the new building are the vertically structured façade panels made of golden-brown anodized aluminum.

Interior rich in Variety

Behind the outer shell, which is rich in contrast, there is a floor a of 14,000 square meters. The employees’ office can be found on the hillside level, the double-story first floor offers a comprehensive range of therapies. Apart from various gyms you will also find a semi-public swimming pool as well as a theater stage and a restaurant. For those who enjoy all-around views there are five finger-shaped oriels they can have their meal in. On the second upper floor there is a Ronald McDonald house along with playing and sleeping possibilities for children.

In all areas you will find cross-level lines of sight, various access options as well as open and intimate zones taking turns in a flowing manner for surprising perspectives. Other counterpoints are the artful lighting as well as the shining and colorful roof lights with their playful geometries.

Green Perspectives

In order to achieve an energy consumption level as low as possible the planners have provided facilities for thermal heat and cold. The project’s eco-balance is additionally improved through a comprehensive master plan by Koen van Velsen, suggesting, apart from two other new buildings, the removal of the old hospital building in the future and even more land rehab on the large area premises. An utterly successful project, which has deserved being among the final six of the renowned Mies van der Rohe Award 2011.

Project details


Koen van Velsen, Hilversum


Completion: 01/2010


BGF: 14.000 square meters


RMC Groot Klimmendaal, Arnheim


You need to login or register to post comments.
This comment will automatically be synchronized on social networks.
wilges.marcio 15. July 2015 - 7:29

Netherlands is also one of the many countries whose designs are revered by designers, architects and the like. Many of Sydney’s architectures are inspired by the simplicity yet functional designs of Netherlands and other Scandinavian countries. We have done removal projects on several buildings that I think have followed the footsteps of Nordic designs, and as a removalist, these have done the latter’s designs.

valyspin's picture
valyspin 5. November 2015 - 12:59

Everyone wants perfection, but perfection comes hard if you don't have the right materials and tools. This is why, in every major or small construction project, the constructor needs some cutting equipment, a few diamond saw blades and maybe a sawing machinery for different types of activities. The most quality equipment of this kind can be bought from the U.S. Diamond Tool online store.

valyspin's picture
valyspin 5. November 2015 - 15:26

Even a rehab center which is located in the woods should have the latest medical equipments, the best medications, the most professional medical staff and physicians. Also, every hospital or private clinic should use the most advance medical packaging, like the TEN-E Packaging Services.