Technical Study: Melle Psychiatric Clinic, Belgium

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Architecten de vylder vinck taillieu has given new life to a partially demolished historic hospital building

The psychiatric clinic outside the village of Melle, Belgium, has been based at its current location in East Flanders since the early 20th century. The original buildings comprised a series of ten villas designed on a grand scale in 1908, each housing a different treatment and spaced out over the site to reduce the impression of the clinic as an institution. 

From the 1950s, as new forms of treatment were developed, these older buildings increasingly became considered unusable, and were gradually demolished and replaced by newer buildings deemed more appropriate to the contemporary use and demands of the clinic. However, the differences in architectural language and strategy employed by the various architects working over this period has been to the detriment of the unity and coherence that the villa buildings had previously lent the site.

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