Pinearq - SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona, a new center with views of the mountains and the sea
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SJD Pediatric Cancer Center Barcelona, a new center with views of the mountains and the sea


Health  /  Completed

The SJD-PCCB arises from the strategic need to create a monographic center for pediatric cancer care by Sant Joan de Déu Hospital in Barcelona. The proximity and the need to establish synergies between the both centres posed an improvement in the diagnosis, treatment and research of pediatric cancer. The Center adapts to the new use through the reform and expansion project. The proposal was to re-inhabit an old teacher center that was part of this health complex, and connect it to the Hospital by 90-meter-long closed walkway, which avoids duplication in general support services. The architectural project modifies the layout, grow a plant taking advantage of the slope and unifies the façade.

The PCCB is located between Barcelona and Esplugues de Llobregat, closer to Collserola, the natural park that delimits the city on the west. Taking advantage of this location, a specific project is created for the place, taking advantage of the position over the city and opening up the views towards the sea and the mountains. The design strategy is applied to transform an inefficient, closed and dimly lit building into a new center with views of the mountains and the sea, with natural light entering corridors, offices and rooms.

The PCCB refubrishment and expansion project consists of re-inhabiting an old teaching building connected to the existing Hospital, applying three sustainability strategies that promote passive and active architecture by improving the energy efficiency of the envelope: Reduce energy losses, improving insulation with a new ventilated façade and replacement of exterior carpentry. Protect by an external solar protection system with vertical slats that unifies and homogenizes the exterior image. Generate electrical energy for self-consumption by including glass for photovoltaic productin on the protective skin facing south.

The building has 5 floors and 3 levels of parking, with a day hospital service (outpatient), two operating rooms, outpatient consultations, hospitalization unit, and other hospitalization unit for immunosuppressed patients, pharmacy, research laboratories, nuclear medicine, auditorium and coffee shop. The design has been based on collective creation as a participatory process, in which it has been essential to know and understand the needs and desires of all the users. This process has promoted innovation spaces for relationships: meeting spaces, playgrounds, exchanges, rest, study, etc. The design has taken into account environmental factors that can modify our emotions, thoughts and behaviours through natural light, color and atmospheres, which consolidates and motivates the feeling of safety and healing in pediatric patients. Due to the proximity of the Collserola natural park, the creation of atmospheres integrates a design with a narrative based on nature: Through observation and play, the interiors of the center discover how many organisms in our natural environment have developed incredible characteristics to survive. This discourse is linked in an allegorical way with the concepts of resilience and overcoming of children with cancer. The design creates pleasant areas with the aim of dissipating the feeling of waiting prior to an operation or a medical check-up. In other words, all the design strategies have been applied with the objective to humanize the spaces.

The result of the accompaniment of health professionals in the design process has been the development of a cognitive building. Cognitive science studies the mind and its processes, in a broad sense that includes knowledge, perception and memory. In a cognitive building, the user is aware of how it affects the immediate environment, and how the feeling of safety and comfort helps to better assimilate the treatments. A design that is born and includes the human scale and the diversity of people.


 Ordre dels Germans de Sant Joan de Déu de Barcelona
 13196 mq
 Alberto de Pineda Álvarez
 Roberto Cortés Mar
 Serra Capmany Enginyeria
 ENNE Gestión Activa de Proyectos SLP
 Aitor Estévez & Wilfredro Meléndrez


Pinearq is a company born in Barcelona, an innovative city recognized for its urban spaces values and the architectural quality of its buildings. The Mediterranean character of the city, its creativity in facing urban transformations and a recognized architecture born from these premises, have also shaped Pinearq’s healthcare design.
The team of Pinearq is directed by its founder, Alberto de Pineda Álvarez. He is architect from the Higher Technical School of Architecture in Barcelona (ETSAB) since 1980 and Master in Planning and Design of Hospital Centers in the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).
He founded Pinearq in 1997, an international architecture studio specialized in the development of complex projects for the health sciences which it has built hospitals in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the DABC of the Politecnico di Milano and director of several hospital design courses at the University of Barcelona.

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