Esplugues de Llobregat
A healthcare facility seeks to meet individual and collective needs for maintenance, control and improvement that affect physical, mental and social well-being. Healthcare architecture, then, defines, creates and develops the physical infrastructure where those demands are met. They are also emotional places, where positive or negative news is shared, in which the vision and action on life can radically change.
Esplugues de Llobregat
The profound transformations in the scientific, technological, economic and cultural spheres that occurred throughout the 20th century established an increasingly complex hospital model. Factors such as the differentiation and optimization of functional circuits, the disparity in installation and maintenance costs between exterior and interior construction, and artificial lighting and ventilation, have consolidated an ultra-compact hospital model of reduced spatial and material quality. This situation contains an important contradiction: a large part of the spaces where the various therapies are carried out is not very therapeutic, with a total absence of comfort.
Various studies carried out in this 21st century point to a correlation between certain spatial and constructive characteristics, and the balance and well-being of patients. The environmental and comfort qualities of the spaces destined for medicine, and the relationship between them and the users, are thus revealed to be fundamental in the psychological and emotional balance of the latter.
In the conception of the hospital project, there should be considered all characteristics to create favourable conditions for physical and mental balance, even if not being specifically medicinal. Architecture does not cure but directly influences the healing process, and improves the quality of life and convalescence. Although a hospital or a nursing home are buildings of XXL dimensions, the human dimension and the domestic character of the spaces should not be lost. For Pinearq, the creation of humanized high-tech spaces is a priority, a fundamental architectural design principle.
Healthcare architecture — also understood as the form and functioning of spaces — optimizes medical processes, guarantees quality standards, improves care times and comfortably accommodates patients, companions and medical staff. That is why Pinearq designs user-centred hospitals and nursing homes, with flexible functional programs and architectural spaces that change over time and in use. The commitment is to create intelligent structures that allow accommodating rapid and continuous medical innovations.
The architectural conditions that influence the well-being and balance of people must be taken into account, such as the proportion and scale of spaces; the relationship between interiors and exteriors, visual continuity and direct relationship with the place; the articulation of circuits and public-private areas; the qualities of the materials (texture, shape, colour, details, interactivity); the balance between opacity and transparency, the use of natural factors (air, light, solar orientation, acoustics). The value of these features varies from building to building but they are an integral part of the design.
At a strategic level, a hospital and a nursing home must break down the fence between this building and the city. That connection with the context must become a mutual exchange, in which not only the users of the buildings enter and leave but also the city takes advantage of the complementary services of this facility: public spaces, car parks, communal rooms, basic services, commercial areas, bank offices, restaurants and cafes.