|Services provided||Supervision of Works|
|Period of execution||08/2000 – 12/2003|
|Construction cost||€ 21,613,233.00|
|KEY FACTS / KEY DATA||
The High Specialization Pediatric Hospital at Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, is a ‘horizontal development’ project: an extendable hospital guaranteeing greater flexibiliity and freedom for expansion to cope with the future needs of technological, scientific and demographic developments. The complex comprises two diagnostic and treatment areas connected by a semicircular building with an arcade in front and an auditorium overhead, and an area for hospitalisation.
THE PROJECT: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
The tight schedule required by the Client and by the special economic conditions of the project have led to planning the main operational phases using the fast-track method (design going step-by-step with construction).
To guarantee synchronism between design and construction phases, highly detailed initial planning was necessary, paying meticulous attention to keeping to the planning. The limited familiarity of the local labour forces in several specific construction practices led to the adoption of particular solutions already employed and tested in our previous experience in countries with similar characteristics. One such example is choosing a steel structure rather than a reinforced concrete one, arising from the conviction that higher costs are compensated by easier execution and shorter time required for implementation. Another example is a preference for semi-prefabricated technologies, rather than choosing the proper quality and typology for the finishing works. The architectural solution arose from the need to construct a building suitable for specialist hospital functions, with the simultaneous awareness of the need for harmonious architectural integration with the surrounding area. Indeed, the project building complex is ‘low-rise’ to be in harmony with its environmental and urban context, hence not ‘monumental’, with the aim of creating a dialogue and not a competition with the environment. The search for the highest humanisation value, capable of making the patients’ and visitors’ stay as comfortable as possible, was even more essential in view of the patients’ age. Such considerations involved several design aspects, including the vivacious colours of the façade, the location of the wards on the ground floor and, above all, in arranging all the rooms around courtyards, in an effort to eliminate barriers between inside and outside and thus give patients the feeling of maintaining their own habits which, specifically, consist of a life spent mostly in open spaces. Problems linked to distributional-functional interconnection flows were studied not so much according to the classical diagrams of functional relations on which European and North-American hospital design is based, as on the desire to bolster local customs and realities. This includes the creation of corridors which, thanks to the local climate, are sometimes partly and at others totally outdoors. Awareness of the difficulty of guaranteeing continuous and immediate maintenance for lifts led to the design of systems of ramps – where possible – for vertical movement, which in turn has had an impact on the general layout. We should emphasise the particular care taken in tackling the problem of how to ‘conceal’ the utility systems and equipment located on the roofs, which are visible from the highest point of the entrance for pedestrians. An attempt has been made to ‘rarefy’ the main volumes in an upward direction, providing in each case a ‘fake’ upper floor, a kind of “velarium” consisting of a simple and graceful wooden structure of ‘pillars and beams’, over which climbing plants can be trained. Even the choice of plants has taken maintenance aspects into account: bouganvilleas adapt very well to the local climate, need little maintenance, and can easily grow in large pots. Above all, they provide a lively warm colouring, in harmony with the range of colours employed for all the buildings.
- Preliminary design Review
- Development of the functional and distribution layout
- Detailed design of civil works and systems
- Supervision of works