The design for the Children’s Hospital “Pietro Barilla” in Parma, completed in January 2013, was inspired by the criteria of humanisation and environmental psychology, reflecting thewishes of medical staff to create a place “designed around the children”, which was to be as homely and warm as possible for the young patients. As a consequence, the design synthesises health and functional needs with perceptual and psychological topics. OBR decided to focus both on the inside and on the outside of the building. The façade has been designed to create a visual relationship between the building and its surroundings, enhancing the experience of natural phenomena - the sun moving as the hours of the day pass, the colour of the leaves changing with the seasons).It becomes the architectural device that allows the interaction between the children and the environment. The external layer of the facade, made of coloured vertical fins and transparent single glazing, reflects the surrounding context on the new hospital. The colours of the façade recall the chromatic palette of the natural and urban context surrounding the building. According to the movement of the observer, the colours cross-fade dynamically, providing an ever changing appearance to the facade. This chromatic composition further enhances a self-identification process by the children. The patient rooms are designed to re-create a familiar environment for the children who temporarily live in the hospital and allowfor views to the surrounding gardens. The design of the façade, together with theinteriors, aim to increase the quality of sensory stimulation and the social interaction. The architecture becomes an active interpreter of a great process of innovation in healthcare buildings, searching for a positive effect on the day-to-day life of the children, their families, the staff and all the “inhabitants” of the new hospital.
Mariela Apollonio: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8