New doctor's practice in Austria works to connect nature and architecture
X Architekten are introducing their new Austrian project, ParkPraxis, a country doctor’s practice with an in-house pharmacy. Dr. Regina Fehrmann, the sponsor of the project, serves as a family doctor for three rural communities in the Lower Austrian district of St. Pölten-Land.
The constructed area measures 252 sq m, the floor area 224 sq m, and the interior space 1,059 cb m. The building works to incorporate architecture with nature, with a shady plane tree with three trunks planted within a circular floor. It symbolises the tree under which Hippocrates taught his pupils his medicinal theories. The outer façade of the solid single-storey building is a curtain wall made of synthetic aluminium composite panels with a reflective stainless steel surface.
Entrance to the building is gained through a circular indentation on the corner. Via the foyer, reception and waiting room, the circular inner development which runs around the larger courtyard is reached. All of the practice’s rooms lead to the glazed gallery with its park views and exits to the courtyard. From there, two smaller circular rooms ('subcircle distributors') develop further rooms. Each one is exposed according to the concept of overlapping rectangular and round forms via circular shapes.
The building stirs up the contemporary fears of unsustainable architecture. The completion of ParkPraxis was preceded by an intense political debate that was dominated by the fear of losing the ‘park’, but the concept of the building works to avoid disturbing the geographical connection between the two sides of the landscape through its design. The rational layout of the rooms set alongside the romantic incorporation of the trees on the floor plan bridges the gap between nature and building, and unites the work of the doctor with the geography of the building. Furthering this sense, the mirrored exterior of the structure reflects the greenery of the park, and coalesces the building with its surroundings.