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Brief Published: 27 Aug 2012

The Calming Hospital, Madrid


Earlier this year, acclaimed British designer Thomas Heatherwick expressed his belief that the healthcare industry was in urgent need of a design overhaul. Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz clearly has similar feelings, addressing the matter via his design of the Reyjuan Carlo Hospital in Madrid.

Based around two prismatic glass towers, supported by a simple, open-plan rectangular base, the design avoids the conventional labyrinthine networks of corridors – instead focusing on creating airy, open areas and placing a large emphasis on green space. The hospital also features a green roof garden that is visible from each room, and provides a place where patients can take time to relax. 

Natural light pours through the two towers via an intelligent façade system comprised of circular widows, which also offer impressive views of the surrounding rural environment.

For more examples of how designers are unlocking the potential of healthcare design, see our previous threads Inviting Dental Clinic, Lisbon, and Herzog & de Meuron’s Child Friendly Hospital. Also see the report Designs of the Year 2012 for our overview of the award-winning Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow, designed by Dutch practice OMA.

Rafael de La-Hoz