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The 20 hectare AZ Zeno campus in Knokke, Belgium, houses a hospital, a rehabilitation centre, a care hotel, an outpatients clinic, lecture halls, public spaces and a helipad. The new hospital, inspired by the works of the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte, seemingly levitates above the landscape and is dominated by nature and light. The design is a striking example of “living architecture”: sustainable design and construction with a special eye for integration in the natural landscape, ecological energy and materials used.
AZ Zeno engaged ID LAB at the end of 2016, only 8 months before the building was to open. This short timeframe meant a compressed development time, beginning with an intensive week on site in which ID LAB were able to develop the wayfinding strategy principles, analyse the user journeys, get buy-in from the hospital’s Executive Team, and develop the first sketches of the signage hardware.
The signage design takes from the architecture itself. In the main entrance space the oversized sign panels float just below the ceiling. Without losing any of their functionality, the signs become architectural forms rather than standard signs.
Both the hospital and the architects have expressed their delight with the wayfinding solution.