Wooden Forest
Herman Zonderland and AM_A Andrea Möhn Architects

Wooden Forest - Medical Centre for Mentally Disabled People

AM__A Andrea Möhn Architects as Architects

The “Wooden Forest”, situated on a beautiful estate of Ipse de Bruggen Foundation in the heart of Holland, is a medical centre for adults with mental disabilities. More than 400 clients live atthe residence, where they receive care and daycare activities are organised. For the specific needs of many of the patients a wide range of medical facilities and the rapeutical services are provided by more than 100 staff members at the “Wooden Forest”.

 

To support specialized care, social integration with the local village is very important and encourages clients to integrate with the community. In return, local residents are permitted to use the medical and sports facilities at the centre, including the rehabilitation pool where kids can take swimming lessons.

 

Comprising a number of different entrances and exits over 4675 m2, the original building from 1978 was extended by an L-shaped corridor of 545m2 with one centralised entrance. The corridor features original vertical wooden elements, thus giving it the feel of walking through a forest. It leads to a large open space with views onto the newly designed outdoor area surrounding the centre. The building has been renovated with respect for the many of the original details, and all in a sustainable way. In addition, flexible office and meeting rooms have been newly created on the ground floor and the first floor. Andrea Möhn Architects was fully responsible for the interior design and integrated the residents in the design process by considering carefully to their needs and integrating suggestions and requests.

 

Strategic designers Silo created a spatial identity of beautiful illustrations. A wonderful world of ambiguous animals plays a trick on reality to stimulate the imagination of the users. The skin of the animals forms an antithesis to their archetypal qualities. Fluffy bunnies turn out to be prickly like a cactus and grey swine are made of precious shiny pearls.


Spatial branding for Ipse de Bruggen: Ambiguous animal kingdom

Silo as Spatial branding

What is a perceptive strategy to stimulate the imagination of clients with intellectual disabilities? How can seemingly simple interventions make a difference and contribute to better care? In response to these questions, Silo created a wonderful world with ambiguous animals for a care complex at the estate of Ipse de Bruggen, designed by Andrea Möhn Architects.

 

Everyone can participate
Ipse de Bruggen provides care for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The institution allows everyone to participate in their individual way. The organisation offers treatment, daytime activities or assisted living at various locations in the Netherlands.

 

Antithesis
Silo developed a series of animal figures that play a trick on reality. Their skin forms an antithesis to the animal’s archetypal qualities. Plumpy hippos become as ethereal as a foam bubble; fluffy bunnies turn out to be prickly like a cactus, and grey swine are made of precious shiny pearls. The discrepancy between what something is and how it looks is emphasised ingeniously.

 

Visual semiotics
The result is visuals that celebrate the surreal. By giving room to diverse personal interpretations, they encourage interaction and discussion. As a spectator, you can make your judgment about the image and the message it communicates. Perhaps things are not what they seem. The ambiguous animals stimulate the imagination, providing a lasting impression.

 

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