Rabot Community Health Centre

transcending social and cultural boundaries through physical fitness
At the heart of a new POLO-designed public housing development our interior designers dream up a Community Health Centre that aims to be more than just a purveyor of medical services.
Location

Idealstraat
Ghent
Belgium

Year
2021
Surface area
1.125m²
Status
realized
Client
WGC Rabot
  • VK Architects & Engineers
Photography
Evenbeeld

The Rabot neighbourhood in Ghent was once a thriving blue-collar district. Like many of its ilk, it has seen its sense of community dissipate in recent decades. In an effort to stop the rot, the notoriously run-down high-rises which came to symbolise its many ills were torn down; POLO Architects replaced them with strips of mid-rise residential blocks, interspersed with public greenery.

The Community Health Centre Rabot is located at the heart of the housing development, occupying the entire ground floor of one of the buildings. It sits along a newly created street that cuts right through the estate. At the end of this street the picturesque Rabot towers beckon. As one of the main thoroughfares intersecting the masterplan, this link is set to become one of the prime public spaces that inject live into the scheme.

In an area with considerable social issues and a very diverse population, a health centre provides a crucial service for the underprivileged. But since our desire for good health transcends social and cultural boundaries, we believe this centre could be as much about community-building as about healthcare. It should become a beacon of optimism that shines a new light on this neighbourhood in transition.

The new residential buildings have understated grey brick facades. Against this discreet backdrop the health centre announces itself with bright yellow solar blinds. They can extend horizontally and act as awnings, providing a colourful and joyous accent within the street. Away with the gloomy image of doctors and medical issues; this is a place where we celebrate our health and physical fitness.

This zest for life is carried through into the interior. We use warm colours and soothing greys instead of clinical whites. Natural timbers and textured materials aim to stimulate our senses.

A healthy community
Homely vibes

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