Ambulance stations are typically boxy, uninteresting buildings, but that’s not the case for this station in the Dutch town of Zeist. Rescue company RAVU commissioned Architectenforum to design an energy-neutral ambulance storage structure constructed from renewable materials. The timber building features curved walls that rise from the ground and are covered in crawling plants.
Located on the outskirts of Zeist near the edge of the forest, the 550-square-meter ambulance station is tucked away out of sight from the hospital. Though the building has no public function and will never be seen by patients, the structure has a sculptural form that’s both beautiful and functional. Vertical strips of light-colored untreated timber clad the facade and help the single-story ambulance station blend into the forest. Plants crawl up the sides of the sloping walls to the curved roof topped with sedum and solar panels. The wooden trusses that support the roof can be seen in the light-filled interior.
“Wood has many advantages as a bio-based and healthy building material,” wrote Architectenforum. “We opted for a laminated timber construction. The timber-frame facades, the siding and the window frames are also made in wood.” A highly insulated envelope helps the building achieve nearly energy neutral status. An all-electric system provides the heating and cooling and is supported by a heat pump and a solar water heater.
Images via Architectenforum, by Stijn Poelstra