Case study

Sanapolis (BE)

A holistic design focused on people

Link Lab, together with M4 Architects and Art&Build, won the competition for the healthcare site Sanapolis. The former TB sanatorium from the 1930s in Sijsele will become a natural and recreational health park.

The team won the competition mainly because of the conceptual elaboration. It takes into account the sustainable use of space and focuses on a broad and holistic design vision. That is what the ‘Lab’ in Link Lab stands for. By involving as many relevant stakeholders as possible from the start. Through workshops, we collect wishes and insights from a broad group of stakeholders and specialists. In this way, we create sharp and, above all, in-depth project definitions. Three pillars are important in this respect. Also for Sanapolis.

Contest team Link Lab Architecture
Contest team Art&Build
Contest team M4 Architecten

Realising ideas beyond architecture – architecture is also health

Link Lab looks beyond the traditional disciplines of architecture, urban planning, interior design and landscape architecture. We involve other disciplines in our design process. An open, collaborative and curious mind is key. Communication, process management or sociology are of equal importance. Especially when you are looking to create architecture with value.

For Sanapolis, we worked on a holistic vision, with attention to all aspects of human health. Scientific research proves that a natural environment stimulates the healing process.  Green reduces our stress levels, improves concentration and has a positive effect on the immune system.  We place all the functions of the programme of requirements in the context of ‘cure’ and ‘care’. Once all aspects have been mapped out, we will continue with the design.

We define all the facets of health and draw up a sustainable programme of requirements on that basis.

sanapolis componenten

The mapping of the wellbeing facets translates into the components of the design

The city is our playground – towards a positive biodiversity strategy

Link Lab supports the call for a return to the city. For infill development and higher density. Our projects focus on the reuse of spaces and buildings. We take responsibility in the way we use built-up and unbuilt space.

The domain of Sanapolis is located in the countryside. The existing buildings do not exceed the carrying capacity of the site or its surroundings. Reuse of this site is a sustainable choice. Because people can enjoy the benefits of the outdoor area. We avoid taking up additional space. We opt for a sustainable interpretation of the existing site, which is easily accessible via the existing road network.

The former TBC-sanatorium has a clear identity and a strong stately character. Its allure is reinforced by the central 200-metre-long driveway. The art deco building has been on the inventory of architectural heritage since 2009. We start from this architectural wealth to further develop the site efficiently.
The natural wealth has been preserved. The woods with age-old beech and oak, park-like gardens with magnificent magnolias and catalpas remain intact. The implantation of new buildings takes into account a positive biodiversity strategy. The environmental strategy is improved. We are working on labels and certifications: BREEAM NC 2016 (Excellent), WELL and/or OSMOZ, E + C (E3 C2 level), BBCA, Biodivercity, WiredScore and/or R2S.

Beyond architecture

Centered on people

Link Lab creates projects for people. We rethink spaces so that everyone who visits them, lives there or works there experiences an added value. The design of Sanapolis is ideally suited to the diversity of its future users. A ‘healing community’.
Care environments can be a source of stress and excitement. Not so here. The design strategy provides maximum acoustic and thermal comfort. The ‘biophilic’ effects are maximised. We work on a direct connection from inside with greenery and privileged views on the park landscape.