Public spaces, piazzas, streets, town centres, religious buildings
The Garden and Playspace Hospital 12 de Octubre is an architecture project that aims to brighten the conditions of children inpatients suffering from cancer. Moneo Brock Studio has worked pro bono with Juegaterapia foundation. The project transforms the 800 m2 pre-existing rooftop at the 12 de Octubre Hospital in Madrid, Spain (where 7,000 children are hospitalised every year) into a playspace surrounded by ornamental trees and plants. The pre-existing space posed several limitations for the design of this project. Given the rooftop’s exposure to Madrid’s extreme climate, the design had to be adapted accordingly. The rooftop therefore required an element able to provide shade over the summertime. The 6-metre high dome was designed for this purpose, whilst also offering privileged views of Spain’s capital. The height also posed some
difficulties in terms of waste elimination, transport and assemblage during construction. Mechanisms were developed without affecting the normal use of lifts in the hospital and many of the structures were assembled on-site. Last, but not least, rooftops are often home to climate control machinery and air vents, and this was no exception. Since none of those items could be removed, the design had to both disguise and integrate them in the new area. The design was inspired by the children’s drawings, which illustrated their ideal playspace. Thinking as children we realised that every element in the garden becomes a potential play element. We felt that the space had to be more than just a playspace – it had to feel unique for the children, their own, a secret place, a landscape able to empower their imagination, a place where they cou
ld dream, where their senses would delight in contact with nature. And, on top of that, it should bear no resemblance to the hospital, but instead create a variety of atmospheres through landscape design. The design provides differently-sized circular areas, surrounded by trees and plants, variously focusing on playing and nature. Among other remarkable elements one could mention are a twisting path for toy motorbike races and a small soccer field. The project, which was completed and officially inaugurated on May 2015, enables the children inpatients to perform not just a physical activity, but to find entertainment, social interaction, evasion and joy, hopefully providing them with therapeutic benefits during treatment and recovery.
Gross Floor Area (mq)760
ArchitectsBelén Moneo, Jeff Brock
Design teamBelén Moneo, Jeff Brock
Photo CreditsRaquel Martínez Bretal, Moneo Brock
Curriculum studio / partecipanteMoneo Brock is an Architecture, Planning and Design firm offering personalized solutions to complex design problems. With broad experience collaborating with large teams of designers, engineers and consultants in the productions and coordination of architectural projects, the firm has completed works ranging in scale from large public buildings to domestic interiors. In their designs one can find an individuality of approach; the team treats each project as a new beginning and opportunity to investigate the vocabulary of architecture. Belén Moneo (Harvard, 1988) and Jeffrey Brock (Princeton, 1985) always pay great attention to the satisfaction of users, creating functional as well as original spaces. A project’s urban context or natural setting is carefully considered; the local climate is analyzed in detail so that energy efficiency can be assured, and the social and economic context is thoughtfully reviewed so that all conditions for true sustainability can be met.
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