Social facilities on site of 1874 Brazilian psychiatric hospital look to integrate patients with local Recife community
Tamarineira Psychiatric Hospital in the Brazilian city of Recife was constructed in 1874 and its residents ostracised from the local community. The remote situation of this mental healthcare facility has aided the social separation of the Hospital’s patients from the rest of the town’s residents and a national design competition was launched to close the gap between these two groups.
This submission was entered by Vazio S/A, proposing an open public parkland around the hospital facility and a ‘Museum of Madness’ to encourage the community to let down their social boundaries. The design studio explains: “Questioning the spatial practices generally employed in old psychiatric treatments, it proposes sports facilities in the park and an educational/vocation centre within the neoclassical hospital, supporting the idea of opening this institution to Recife and appreciating it with a new landscape design that complements and supports the existing vegetation.”
The foliage-rich concept incorporates varying heights of plantlife, from pale-barked trees to wispy shrubs and regimented hedges, all marking shifts in the site typologies. An area of concrete gym facilities is bordered by low shrubs while sparkling ponds are edged in rows of slender trees. These green areas form a buffer between the institution’s patients and the Recife community and act a vital part of Vazio’s plan to slowly integrate these two groups through social activities.