Treatment room in organic architecture / First amorphous silicon flat panel EPID in use

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Architect Marius Ballieux revises the interior of the treatment room A4 in 2001 when a new treatment machine is installed.He creates an organic interior in which the design and use of colour diverts the attention from the impressive technical facilities.The wellbeing of the patient comes first.

The new linear accelerator in this room is an Elekta Precise with 4 and 6 MV photon beams and 6 to 15 MeV electron beams. For portal imaging the machine is equipped with an amorphous Silicon (a-Si) "solid state imaging panel". The improved characteristics of this new image detector make the liquid filled NKI EPID obsolete. New accelerators are equipped with an a-Si imager. See the subject "a-Si solid state imager, successor of the NKI EPID"  

Organic architecture. Head of department Harry Bartelink devotes attention to improving the quality of the interior design in which patients are received and treated. Traditionally the interior of almost every radiation department is sober and functional, with a dismal appearance and a prominent place of the impressive technical facilities of the treatment equipment. From 1996 onwards renovations and replacements of equipment provide the opportunity to improve the interior of the radiotherapy department. Technical specialist Henk van der Gugten is project coordinator for the radiotherapy department. He collaborates with the construction office of the NKI, in particular with Ruud Wiersum, Joos Bongers and Ron Jong. They introduce him to the organic architect Marius Ballieux. The most striking influence of Ballieux is the organic design of treatment room A4. Artist Hilde Koning provides the colourful wall finish. Treatment room A2 was also tackled. Here mural artist Lani van Petten worked the walls in veiled colours. The architect describes her technique: "Veiling is the super imposition of multiple layers of transparent colours on the walls of the interior spaces. The multiple layers of colour each stay visible due to their transparent nature, resulting in a unity of colour with a certain depth. The interior is given a vitality-promoting power"

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In treatment room A4 in 2001.

Many technical systems and auxiliaries are hidden from the view of the patient by placing them in a large walk in closet behind the wooden panel seen in the picture, or  they are placed discretely along the walls. Ultimately the layout and design is determined by the working procedures of the radiation therapist. One can work efficiently in this treatment room

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The reception desk at the machine control area.

When entering, the patient is not directly confronted with the many technical aspects around the impressive equipment. Curved shapes, wood, colour and day light help to create a relaxed atmosphere. 

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The same reception area seen from the control area.

Four to five therapists have their workspace here. There is plenty of room for the display screens and keyboards of the linear accelerator, portal imaging and the monitoring system to observe the patient during the treatment.  From the control area one has a direct view of the entrance of the open labyrinth and the two changing rooms.  Since 1973 all megavolt treatment rooms in the NKI are constructed with an open labyrinth. Heavy doors are avoided for psychological reasons. The entrance of the labyrinth is secured by means of two infrared light beam detectors. 

From the annual report 2001......'On 6 September 2001 TV presenter Chazia Mourali officially opens treatment room A4.     Mourali, who previously expressed her discontent with the unpleasant "Chernobyl atmosphere" of  radiotherapy departments, opens the refurbished treatment room with the new linear accelerator. The aim of the renovation was to create a room as patient friendly as possible. One wanted to get rid of the cold appearance of white hospital walls and the disturbing dominance of machinery. Soft colours and organic materials and shapes have been chosen. Architect Marius Ballieux (of the office of Alberts and Van Huut) applied natural materials and shapes in the treatment room…"