In the Heart of a Hospital Campus, a Ruin-Turned-Gathering Place Helps Patients Heal


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Ghent-based Architecten dVVT only made light interventions to create a new multi-use common area within this early 20th-century structure in the Belgian town of Melle.

“What is important to know, is that it’s a square,” explains Inge Vinck, partner of the Ghent-based architects Architecten dVVT, as she ascends a short lawn in front of PC Caritas. With its three stories, doorways, banded brickwork, arched window frames, and stepped parapet, the PC Caritas project looks a lot like a building. “It’s not a building,” she asserts. It’s a new public space—a town “square,” if you will—in the heart of Karus Melle, a hospital campus for psychiatric patients on the outskirts of Melle, a satellite town of the Belgian city of Ghent…

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