Sint Anna

Redevelopment of a psychiatric institution

The Sint Anna (Saint Anne) grounds in the city of Venray is a former psychiatric institution. The complex consists of several pavilions surrounded with forest. Currently all the buildings are vacant. ZUS has been asked, jointly with Studio PROTOTYPE and bureau Rekenruimte, by the government architect to draft a redevelopment study for the area.

There are three important developments in the region that are important for the redevelopment of Sint Anna: demographic shrinking, the increase migrant workers and others in need of urgent housing, and the economic reality. Consequently a definitive master plan, based on demolition and new buildings, is not a feasible solution for Sint Anna. This traditional way of development doesn’t add quality in the short run. Furthermore, the financial risk of such a static plan are too great.
A development strategy of ‘permanent temporality’ can instigate a gradual increase of the value of the property from day one. The area can be developed in a period of 20 years. This phased model comes with a flexible business case and a dynamic way of financial calculation with room for change and optimization. The plan can be adapted to unforeseen circumstances.


An important starting point of the plan is a strong connection with the city of Venray. This connection is made by opening the Sint Annalaan (which runs through the grounds) directly to the centre of the city. This central axis will also be the backbone of the transformation. The little square and the church of Sint Anna will be the new centre of the area. A number of public pavilions along the mains axis as well as in the forest will function as public attractions.
The redevelopment of the grounds will be done by clusters. Every transformed building will be complemented with a stretch of public space and one or more new buildings. In this way a clear logic for and layout of the area is created. By densification of the existing buildings, the forest can remains largely untouched. The new Sint Anna will be aimed at a diverse mix of people; those in urgent need of housing as well as people who want to live in a lush and green environment.

Name: Hertonwikkelingsstudie Sint Anna
Location: Venray
Date: 2012
Area: 58 ha.
Client: Government Architect
Status: Continuation of research project
Jointly with: Studio Prototype & Bureau Rekenruimte