The design proposal for the Regional Center for the Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Sports Injuries is born from a request made from an independent Medical Board trying to solve the existing inadequacy of the Venezuelan health system to solve medical problems related to sports injuries outside states’ capitals or private centers. In fact, the main purpose was to create a center that could, in time, teach and promote education in sports health.
The center had to accommodate infrastructure related to the treatment and the rehabilitation of sports injuries in local athletes, but the major concern relied in the prevention of those injuries. According to the Medical Board consulted, a 50% of the injuries that were lately treated with surgery could have been prevented if the athletes followed constant physical examinations, diets or knew the previous and afterwards steps in physical training.
Due to financial reasons, the Medical Board seek to establish institutional bridges between Private Medical Members and the Government to find investors support. At the time they asked for the architectural concept design, they did not know in which state or region inside Venezuela the center would be placed. As a concept design, a synthesis of spatial, environmental and social dynamics of the vast majority of the possible locations for the Center was made. Therefore, the design process had to cover unexpected variables, such as climate and terrain conditions, solar insolation, humidity, etc, and if the center would be located in a rural community or near an urban center.
It was requested the creation of a design concept that could adapt to several conditions and parts of the Venezuelan geography. The decision was to determine a center’s “model” that, when the location was set, could be rearranged to meet specific conditions.
First, the center had to be integrated with the surrounding environment, to give the users the feeling of amplitude and openness, so the decision was to stay as horizontal as possible. Next, a revision of effective bioclimatic characteristics in the Venezuelan architectural reservoir was consulted. The use of internal patios and the integration of the building with tall vegetation could suit for any Venezuelan location. Also blank panels to protect from solar incidence were added to the façade. Afterwards, the designed center followed precise volume characteristics in order to house the required space needs. It is also the result of the study of the programmatic requirements inherent to a health facility that houses a surgery unit with two ORs, a diagnostic imaging center, rehabilitation pools and gyms, physical therapy, diagnostic rooms, doctor’s rooms, etc. This is why the rectangular shape of the building tries to resemble a continuous spiral, trying to avoid vertical circulations such as stairs, and maintaining the most frequently accessed spaces for treatment and rehabilitation in the lower floors.
According to the program, service areas were common for the most of the other areas, so the imaging center and maintenance facilities were located in the basement beneath the central patio while the health services that needed to be in continuous contact with them are placed above in the ground floor. Other services such as commercial locals, and conference halls were added to support the main activities.
In the outside, the center provides its users and the local community of several sports facilities such as a football field, 2 mix use courts and a jogging track.
In the inside, the emphasis was made to maintain a visual contact with the context, making the inside interact with the exterior. The rehabilitation pools and gym are accessible from the inside and through the central patio, allowing the penetration of natural light and ventilation. Recreational spaces such as the café also have an extended version outside the patio, turning the boundaries between interior and exterior invisible.
PROJECT BY: TALLER DE ARQUITECTURA SINGULAR
ARCHITECT IN CHARGE: Piergianna Mazzocca
TEAM: Gloria Rivera, Carlos Peña and Betsabé Zambrano