Timber Ambulance

Jenny Einhorn | Week 9


This is a ambulance station located in Zeist, Netherlands, the goal was to create a building design that would blend into the natural surroundings, and also use solely renewable resources. As a result, this building has a virtually non-existent ecological footprint.


To achieve this, the design team at Architectenforum utilized untreated wood, solar panels and sedum (green roofing). “Wood has many advantages as a bio-based and healthy building material…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.” The slopping nature of the structure allows it to be naturally shaded.


Wood has been used as a building material since the first millennium, so in the modern day it is often overlooked.  I appriciate this effort to rethink wood as innovative, because it is an amazing naturally occurring substance that is biodegradable.  when it is paired with the technology of today, its potential expands. In this project, they are able to utilize the wood as an insulator and a shade.  It is paired with solar energy technology to heat the building and power the electrical system. ambulance-station-by-architectenforum-4-1020x610

I appriciate the effort to reduce/ and eliminate our ecological footprint. I question whether or not they were able to fully maximize the wood material.  I would like to see a more simplistic design that minimizes the use of solar pv panels which are great for producing energy, but ultimately they will become waste material.

Designers are conscious of the surrounding environment which is an important factor for this project, as they are making an effort to reduce the contradiction of a building in nature, however I believe it is important to carry the same concerns into city planning and visa versa. This building is not meant to be seen by the public so I wonder how that influenced the design.  It is beautiful, so the designer did put care into the aesthetics of the buildings interior and exterior, I am wondering what the motivation was behind that effort if it is purely utilitarian.

I wonder how well wood absorbs heat and if it has any transferable properties. I like that the floor is heated with water that is heated from the sun, and the combination of these natural elements is something that should be done on a larger scale such as a skyscraper to reduce the ecological footprint of cities.


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