THE BUILDING AND RECEPTION FACILITIES OF THE OSPEDALE DEL MARE (HOSPITAL OF THE SEA)
The outcome of a project developed by the architecture firm IaN+, the new reception areas of the Ospedale del Mare in Naples, Italy were opened in March 2015. A new public square joins the city to the hospital accompanying people inside a building which distributes the access and service IN NAPLES, ITALY, DESIGNED BY IAN+, HAVE RECENTLY OPENED functions around a bright entrance hall split over three levels. Colored light invades the large hall where the space seems to widen and deform, expanding the horizontal plane along paths that diagonally cross the surfaces of the two underground floors. The project to create the reception areas of the Ospedale del Mare in Naples was developed by the architecture firm IaN+, founded in 1997 in Rome by Carmelo Baglivo, Luca Galofaro and Stefania Manna. Always involved on the theoretical level and in the practice of architecture, IaN+ distinguished itself in the construction of a multidisciplinary research path that made it known on the international scene.
The demand for a space dedicated to daily life. Commissioned in 2004, IaN+ interpreted the guidelines provided by the national hospital model prepared by the architect Renzo Piano in 2001 on the request of the then Minister of Health Umberto Veronesi. The layout provided for the presence of a specific reception area dedicated to daily life that would contemplate a set of environmental solutions aimed at helping the sick, and likewise their relatives and the staff, to feel good psychologically. After the works started in 2006 the construction site experienced a long period of interruption which was finally resolved with the contract being given to Astaldi Spa.
IaN+ creates a dynamic space flooded with light. The project by IaN+ concerns a public square and an entrance hall that integrates different reception services, completed last March, as well as a system of distribution paths giving access to the hospital, currently under construction. The system of reception spaces in the new Ospedale del Mare in Naples is immediately evident due to the presence of a large round volume and exterior surfaces clad with colored panels of fibre-reinforced concrete and glass.
This is the entrance hall, which 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, characterized by lighter colored 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 the light that filters through the curtain of colored glass imbued with blue and green tones, and with the light that, thanks to three large circular and axially offset openings that pierce the roof and the floors, obliquely permeates all levels of the hall. A new test for the experimental nature of IaN+. This design by IaN+ highlights some of the most characteristics themes of the path the firm has described over the past few years through a vast series of projects, many of which have won international competitions. The identification of a formal solution achieved through a slight geometric and conceptual distortion. The reflection on public space. The search for a second nature of artificial landscapes. The material textures which, starting from the construction solutions, characterize the surfaces and the light that hits them. The research and experimentation, which IaN+ has demonstrated since its first projects and has been able to keep alive over the years, are confirmed in the creation of the reception areas of the Ospedale del Mare in Naples.
Stefania Manna “The first phase of the construction site for the hall involved setting up the load- bearing structures of the large horizontal floors with the respective holes which vary in diameter but are almost all large, in relation to the vertical load-bearing elements: as far as possible the visible ones were reduced in number and size whereas the more important and structural ones were hidden in the opaque parts of the interior partitions. The aim is to remove material, reduce heaviness and spatial obstructions. The metal structures of the two large skylights are thus reduced to slim plates and transverse rods so the absence of the chassis frame prevails.
The pillars become slender cylinders that disregard the framework and are positioned to support a crown interrupted and hidden by radial and perimeter partitions.” Carmelo Baglivo “The glass, which covers the walls and encloses an indoor garden, reflects the light in a thousand ways creating large areas of light. The circular shapes manage to construct a Piranesian space visually uniting the different levels; or they recall the cuts made by Gordon Matta Clark in the Marais district of Paris when it was demolished to give way to Beaubourg.
One has the impression of being in a very light and open space where the horizontal and vertical planes become, in fact, a single plane that deforms itself. To increase this deformation of the space the circular cuts in the various floors are slightly offset creating a subtle blur which nevertheless has the power to destabilize the perception of the place.” Luca Galofaro “The design for the new Ospedale del Mare in Naples is a mirror of the Italian situation. Many years passed between the design phase and completion.
In all this time our ideas have changed and we have changed. But I think the project has kept all its characteristics intact. It is an important project for us and I think it will be for the city of Naples too.”