Zaans Medical Center

Empowering people to find their destination in the hospital

Hospitals are very complex buildings because of the broad range of users, services and functional units. Easy navigation to their destination is crucial for patients and visitors alike. Silo developed an effective wayfinding system for the new Zaans Medical Center.

Silo/Geerdes – Destinations and routing, wayfinding analysis for Zaans Medical Center.

Supportive to all

Patients and visitors, inside and outside the facility, are usually in a heightened state of anxiety and are thus worried about finding the way to their intended destination in time. Our project started with analyzing and mapping all types of users, locations and movements inside the new Zaans Medical Center. With the goal that anyone – patient, visitor, and staff – are empowered to find their destination effortlessly, comfortable and independently.

1. Current location / 2. Main navigation / 3. Facilities and services

An icon set was developed for visitors with low literacy.

Icons for facilities and services.

Progressive disclosure

Since a hospital only gets one chance to make a good first impression, the wayfinding system has been designed with the first-time visitor in mind, using a process called progressive disclosure. The system reveals information in layers, providing the right amount of guidance to help visitors to the next decision-making point. Not more, not less.

Flow: from appointment to treatment

For an appointment at the Zaans Medical Center patients receive an invitation in the mail. The letter includes step-by-step instructions on how to reach your destination in the hospital. At the main entrance, visitors receive a ticket with information such as appointments, call number, and route number. All different elements have been designed by Silo. Is there an anchor icon on your ticket? Just follow the anchor, and you’ll be going the right way.

With the designs of Silo and Mecanoo, we were able to make a difference, give room to create something special. At times, going against the current, but ultimately within budget and on time.

Alex van Reeuwijk , fmr director Alliantie/ZMC

Special wayfinding for children in three directions.

Follow the squirrel!

Silo designed an integral system which makes getting to the intended destination easier, causing less stress. The process of finding your way begins with the information patients receive at home and has been carefully implemented inside and outside of the building, on digital screens and signposts, and throughout the spatial identity. Especially for children separate signage is applied, divided into three animals to follow: the green woodpecker, the yellow squirrel, and blue rabbit.

Spatial identity and corporate identity

For the new Zaans Medical Center, Silo developed not only the wayfinding but also a distinctive spatial identity and the corporate identity including logo. The spatial identity works harmoniously with the wayfinding to supporting the orientation of the building’s users, while adding a layer of storytelling. The corporate identity emphasizes that Zaans Medical Center offers excellent healthcare and more.

ClientZaans Medical CenterYear2017CreditsMartijn Geerdes (wayfinding consultant), Mecanoo (architect), Thijs Wolzak (photography)AwardsPeople's Choice Frame Award 2018, Sign+ Award 2018, Finalist Architizer A+ Awards 2018
Rene Toneman

Want to know more?

Call or email Rene