“Healthcare places that care for the places”: this is the vision behind the project of the Italian research center Città della Salute e della Ricerca, in Sesto San Giovanni, near Milan, by MCA studio founded by architect MarioCucinella.
A project ispired by the ancient conception of an aesthetics capable of inspiring an ethics of a human care, based on the encounter between clinic and research, doctors and patients, and between nature and our biophilia: a space for “ri-armonizing” the emotional, physical and social sides of the desease.
History (but especially today) has left us the image of hospitals as part of the category of places for the “separation” of the most dangerous elements of society, as well research centers have always had this feeling of “not trespassing zones”, with underground places and white suits scientist in isolation.
Mario Cucinella’s project for the Città della Salute e della Ricerca (The health and research’s town), inspired by the Renzo Piano and Umberto Veronesi’s concept of human hospital, wants to go beyond this cultural vision.
The 243,000 sqm for the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori and the Istituto Neurologico Besta, two research excellences respectively in the field of oncology and neurosciences, are thought to physically foster the contiguity between clinics and research, as well as to design a place where clinics and research can meet the patient “more humanly”.
The interior design of the Città della Salute e della Ricerca is based on a category of spaces well-know in the contemporary office design: in-between spaces or hybrid spaces, namely places designed to favour the encounter, also between the patient and his hosts, with apartments provided with living rooms, terraces and public kitchens.
The conception of care as “re-armonization” is also expressed by the importance given to the nature and our biophilic being in the project, having its centre in five gardens, each with evocative names: “of breathing”, “of emotion”, “of completeness”, “of changing” and “of rebirthing”.
“We have tried to develop a project where the beauty of the space can become a central element towards the humanization of the care, where the patient is at the centre”, Mario Cucinella declares, underlining “the importance of that ancient complicity between humans and nature”, fundamental precondition for our armony.
Text by Gabriele Masi.