As far as institutional buildings go, the new Sant Joan de Reus Hospital in Barcelona, Spain is as sublime as it gets. Designed by Mario Corea Arquitectura, the 104,910 m² facility houses a total of 400 beds. The building is jettisoned by six cantilevered volumes, a rigid construct that acts to inform the rest of the disciplined architecture. As massive as the volumes are, the place feels airy rather than vacuous. Above all, it is an intervention that is clean, graceful and well-proportioned in its scale. Mies would have been proud.

@teemunny

ABOUT THIS PROJECT (from the office)

This project is presented according to the urban requirements of the plot and the guidelines established by the functional program. It must be taken into account that the building, due to its public use and seize, is a very important benchmark for the new technological park and the city of Reus. At the same time, we consider that the facilities are going to give an emblematic and modern image so as to achieve a high architectural quality and efficiency as new hospital.

The objective of the new hospital building project is to take the most of the site features by improving the functional program and its link between the different areas and their surroundings, and also optimizing the vehicular traffic and flow of people. All this is accomplished in the final project organization. After evaluating different alternatives, the project is presented as a major horizontal unit with light wells on which six two-storey hospitalization volumes rest as if they were floating. These volumes are linked to a large public circulation area (rambla); the slanting facade and the project of some smaller annex buildings give the hospital a more pleasant appearance along with the city, the technological park and the new university campus. The project is organized into two circulation axis or streets. The medical circulation axis, the part that is more in contact with the dual carriageway of Bellisens, is in the north part of the site where the entrances and exits of the parking lot and the technical logistics sector will be built.

The public circulation axis, located in the south of the site, opens onto a new pedestrian walk. In this large circulation area, that we are going to call rambla, all public entrances to the hospital emerge from a square. The idea of this hospital design is to control its size and make it similar to the urban dimensions, controlling and balancing the landscape impact of such a building in the city.

The project consists in building a low height hospital, with changes in the existing topography, a big well-lit unit where the general public and the physicians can communicate, with green spaces, evoking nature in the building area. In the facade, where pedestrian accesses are located, the large scale building is softened with two project strategies.

On the one hand, the facade plane that covers the whole building is bent over, optically reducing the physical presence of the building and increasing its perspective effect. On the other hand, on the ground floor there are rounded pavilions at a lower scale that receive people, helping to organize the different entrances. In the big area of the public rambla, the personnel, patients and visitors encounter a public square which enters into the building as if it were part of it.

(images used with permission from Mario Corea Arquitectura, click to enlarge)


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