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Hospital Regional De Alta Especialidad, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Thursday 30 Apr 2009

Ancient wisdom, modern architecture

copyright: Duarte Aznar Arquitectos SCP 
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Award Entry

New health centre will provide services for over 1.3 million people 

The target population of this Hospital is estimated at 1,350,000 people, and houses 1700 employees in 5 shifts. The medical program provided for includes diagnosis and treatment, outpatient (40 clinics), six units of specialised medicine, hospitalisation (250 beds), administration and general services.

The design raises a set of stony monlithic prisms in the middle of the subtropical forest around a cenote, in which a contemporary ceremonial center worships health and restores the balance between human beings and the environment. Based on a triangular patio architectural scheme, limited by sets of volumes which are targeted according to their roles and relationships, this orders and organises life at the hospital. Its vertex symbolise care, knowledge and death.

Domesticated nature is an omnipresent element, forming a pattern of slender corridors, using the shape and dimensions of the ground, to achieve a constant and intensive interaction with external gardens, allowing for generous views from all areas.

Whereas the inhabitants of the complex are more familiar with outdoor spaces and passive means of comfort, the architects resorted to a profuse native vegetation, in addition to preserving existing trees which promote shadows and naturally improved airflows. This allows person movement and waiting areas to enjoy friendly environments. The design is intended to reduce stress with a clear framework that allows users to read and understand the configuration of the healthcare space, providing a battery of services at the side of the aisles and leaving the other functions outward-controlled, as well as generating extensive terraces and waiting rooms to allow the accompaniment and emotional support of their families.

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