Elegance in Hospital Environs

Project: Ospedale del Mare (Hospital of the Sea), Naples, Italy

Architects: IaN+, Rome

The project to create the reception areas of the Ospedale del Mare in Naples was dedicated to create environmental solutions aimed at helping the sick, and likewise their relatives and the staff, for their psychological well-being. The project concerns a public square and an entrance hall that integrates different reception services as well as a system of distribution paths giving access to the hospital.

The system of the reception space in the hospital is immediately evident due to the presence of a large round volume and exterior surfaces clad with coloured panels of fibre-reinforced concrete and glass. The entrance hall is directly accessible from the metropolitan areas through a square positioned linearly along the main access road until it expands in correspondence with the hall. The paving of the square distinguishes an area next to the road, where industrial paving with a resin coating and ‘green Alps’ pebbles has been used, from one that is more protected, characterised by lighter coloured large slabs of concrete and natural aggregates. The two areas interconnect according to a variable geometry that includes the benches and creates a sort of artificial landscape from which metal shelters emerge along with the trees.

The hall offers visitors the perception of a large and dynamic space, which exploits the circular form to distribute a multitude of functional and service areas around the main paths. The direction of the path that leads from the hall to the hospital is rotated by 30 degrees with respect to the entrance doors. The placement of the escalators that connect the lower levels of the hall emphasises the same direction.

The slim metal pillars with a circular section disregard the regularity of the structural framework and are positioned freely in the space. The entire volume, which is divided into three floors, is filled with light that filters through the curtain of coloured glass imbued with blue and green tones, thanks to three large circular and axially offset openings that pierce the roof and the floors, obliquely permeating all levels of the hall.

Fact File

Client: ASL Napoli 1 Centro

Consultants: Biagio De Risi, Engineer Carmine Mascolo (Structural), Gioacchino Forzano (Mechanical)

Contractors: PFP Partenopea Finanza di Progetto Gruppo Astaldi S.p.A

Year of completion: 2014

Photo credit: Mario Ferrara