A hospital tailored to children
Sergio Beccarelli - Policreo
in collaborazione con Studio OBR
Built as a partnership between local businesses, including the Barilla family, Impresa Pizzarotti and Fondazione Cariparma, the new «Pietro Barilla» Children’s Hospital in Parma is inspired by a child-focused philosophy. In addition to technical, functional and healthcare aspects, special attention has also been devoted to the human and psychological quality of the spaces. The lighting, colours and distribution solutions have been carefully chosen to enable children and their families to benefit from relational support, reassurance, the opportunity for socialization and — no less important — privacy at a difficult time in their lives.
Created by a design team led by architect Sergio Beccarelli from Policreo in collaboration with the practice OBR, the new structure operates as an autonomous unit within the largest hospital in Parma.
Consisting of four above-ground floors and a basement, the building’s architecture follows a simple and rational layout with easily accessible service areas and wards organised into homogeneous areas according to the intensity of care.
The technical solutions are based on a highly innovative systems design, with a specific focus on thermal and acoustic insulation. This is achieved firstly by the orientation of the building, and secondly by the use of a double layer façade system consisting of dry stratified technologies for the perimeter partitions and a second external protection made of vertical hardened and laminated glass elements with low emission characteristics to maximise the performance and efficiency of the building.
Particular care was devoted to the design of the hospital rooms, which are personalised with bright colours and furnishings, including tables for homework, large play areas and walls fitted with equipment for playing video games and watching films.
The choice of surface coverings made a vital contribution to the quality of the overall project.
Cotto d’Este ceramic tiles were used for the connecting spaces, the lobby, the stairs, corridors and walkways, as well as for the floors and walls in all the bathrooms.
Buxy and Elegance series porcelain tiles with a thickness of 14 mm were chosen for the high-traffic areas for their compactness, strength and ease of use, their colour and dimensional stability, and their high quality finish.
Kerlite Elegance series tiles with a thickness of 3.5 mm were used in the bathrooms for their
well-known qualities of wear and slip resistance together with versatility, ease of use and flexibility. Kerlite tiles are frost resistant and easy to clean, they do not retain odours or absorb liquids, and because of their reduced thickness they also have a particularly low weight.
The combined use of porcelain and Kerlite in a number of areas allowed for high-quality aesthetic and colour solutions, as on the raised metal structure walkways crossing the central atrium, where the high degree of elasticity of Kerlite tiles allowed them to be used without the risk of potential deformation. Furthermore, the choice of large sizes — up to 100×240 cm — has considerably reduced the number of joints needed, thus facilitating cleaning and hygiene.
The wide range of trim pieces available allowed for seamless integration between the different areas. Moreover, special machining operations were performed to create specific elements
such as risers and treads of the stairways, as well as a special coving at the joins between
floors and walls.
Guided pathways for the visually impaired were also created using ceramic tiles to optimise usability and ease of access to the facility for all users.
Cotto d'Este, Kerlite Elegance and Buxy
90x90 - 60x120 cm
Via Tornabuoni, Via Montenapoleone
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): ULA - UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): 134 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): (620 kg) 6080 N
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9