With its 19 floors, the hospital is one of the tallest buildings in Antwerp after the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Boerentoren. It stands head and shoulders above the surroundings of Het Eilandje. VK Architects & Engineers and architectural firm Robbrecht en Daem gave the building its own signature and striking character with its green and blue facades and large windows in different depths. Reynaers Aluminum found answers for them to a number of challenges such as the height of the curtain walls
A new eye-catcher adorns the Antwerp skyline: ZNA Cadix, the new hospital of Hospital Network Antwerp. ZNA brings together various services of its Stuivenberg and Sint-Erasmus hospitals. Thanks to shops, catering establishments, and a boulevard for cyclists and pedestrians on the ground floor, the city merges with the hospital. Reynaers Aluminum produced and supplied the windows of the building.
Windows as signature
Johannes Robbrecht van Robbrecht and Daem architects: “We enjoy working with Reynaers Aluminium. They also investigate at an early stage whether our proposals are feasible. What is technically possible and what is not? What are the risks of certain proposals? And how do we translate them into a financially feasible picture? It is a smooth, direct, hands-on way of working together, and we love that!” The facades are finished with glazed ceramic panels. They are light green on the long sides of the building, inspired by the nature around the hospital. On the short sides of the building, they are light blue, referencing the water and the old harbor next to the hospital.
The large windows are an important part of the hospital. They connect the rooms with the city, the water, and the park and provide a spectacular view. Because VK and Robbrecht and Daem wanted to play with different depths in each window, they used a Z profile. For example, one part of each window on the outside is perfectly aligned with the facade, and the other part on the inside with the interior finish. A fine aluminum fin that protrudes from the facade both on the inside and the outside gives the windows an extra aesthetic finish. To achieve the dark green color that the architectural team had in mind, Reynaers Aluminum made a custom powder for them. They also ensured that the insulation around the Z-profiles meets all EPB requirements.
Curtain walls with 3 types of glass around patio
A patio in the middle of the building allows extra outside light and air to enter the hospital. The curtain walls around the patio were finished with the Concept Wall 50 profile. Concept Wall 50 is a facade and roof system with unlimited design freedom and maximum transparency. It is available in different design and glass variants and has different technical variants to meet the high demands for fire resistance and thermal insulation.
Different types of glass such as cathedral glass, see-through glass, and shadow boxes alternate in the facades. The big challenge here: finding good stability for the fine Concept Wall 50 profiles and integrating the three different types of glass into the facade. Because the ventilation behind the shadow boxes had to meet high requirements, Reynaers craftsman Hermans first made a test model whose performance was tested at Reynaers Aluminium. In addition, the curtain walls were also subjected to air, wind, and water tests.