Parma's new "Pietro Barilla" children's hospital is an innovative, autonomous facility inside the larger hospital complex of the city of Parma.
The scheme, which was developed in collaboration with the firm OBR (Open Building Research -GE-), involved preliminary, definitive and executive design and the works direction of a new hospital building with four storeys above ground and one below. The building's overall morphology is exemplified by a first functional floor similar to a slab upon which a multi-storey volume develops.
The design sought to coordinate the efficiency of medical procedures with criteria to humanize healthcare architecture so that the surroundings can play an active role in the therapy; which is why particular attention was paid, in addition to functional aspects, to the psychological perception of space. Accordingly, the design reference terms to guarantee humanization were orientation, illumination, mobility, intimacy, reassurance, privacy and socialization.
The distribution solutions adopted ensure optimal interrelations between the structure's internal and external functions, from specific scientific research activities involving both the hospital and the university, to general and healthcare services, diagnosis, therapy, wards, and A&E.
Particular attention was reserved to the ward section, since this is the where paediatric patients pass their daily lives within the vaster world of the hospital.
The environmental, micro-climatic and thermal wellbeing features of the various areas are ensured by the orientation of the building, in addition to innovative technological solutions that are closely integrated with the plant design.
In fact, the building is characterized by a first high-performance “skin” and a second skin which, by interacting with the first, regulates the climate interaction between interior and exterior, and also represents an identifying element of the new Children's Hospital within a specific urban context.
The façade system includes a perimeter buffer featuring high-efficiency thermal insulation (passive performance), with thermal cutting windows and a cladding of vertical elements in tempered glass, stratified and with particular emission protection characteristics.
The building's architectural design was appropriately completed by a specific integrated project of fixtures and fittings, these too inspired by criteria of environmental psychology and humanization.