New Mater Domini Clinic
Studio Cantù Baratto Pozzi
The approach to designing healthcare facilities has changed enormously in recent years. Well-documented scientific studies have shown that buildings play an important role in the treatment of patients. Projects now embrace a new model of hospital designed as a dynamic organism that contributes to therapeutic activities.
Conceived as a set of compositional elements that contribute to defining the overall environmental quality, the interior architecture of these places takes on a fundamental role and becomes a top-priority objective of the project.
Alongside aspects of functionality, hygiene and safety, further factors that acquire importance include light, the perception of space, the visual relationship with the outside world, effective use of materials and colour, and the design of furnishings. In this context the choice of floor/wall covering is crucial.
It is an application in which ceramic tiles have always played an important role, largely due to their technical and performance characteristics.
A typical example of this new approach is that of the Clinica Mater Domini in Castellana, in the province of Varese, Italy, which is based on a project by the Cantù Baratto Pozzi firm of architects.
First built as a nursing home in the 1960s, Mater Domini underwent a series of extensions and upgrades over the years but now required more radical intervention to adapt the structure to the new regional legislation and the international quality standards that the healthcare organisation wished to meet. As a result, the decision was taken to rebuild the clinic from scratch. Completed in January 2007, the new building has a total surface area of 9,000 square metres over seven floors and integrates into the surrounding landscape, particularly with its glass facades that allow natural lighting to flood into the building.
The communal spaces are meticulously designed, making the new building an efficient and comfortable therapeutic centre. The layout concept revolutionises the obsolete and bureaucratic image of a typical hospital reception area. The enormous central area – which includes the reception area, the waiting rooms and the catering and service areas – is organised in a similar way to other high-traffic public spaces, such as shopping centres, museums and airports.
The meticulous selection of materials, the sophisticated colour combinations and the consistent use of furnishing elements help to create a sober and elegant environment with a contemporary taste where the innovative use of porcelain tile combined with glass and aluminium contributes to making the environment welcoming, safe, hygienic and functional.
Used to cover the horizontal and vertical surfaces of these spaces and create a strong sense of depth and perspective, large-format ceramic tiles from Cotto d’Este reinforce the overall perception of unity. Buxy Cendre, Lux version was chosen for the floor covering and the Kerlite Plus Buxy Cendre and Amande sheets for the perimeter walls below the windows.