Santa Rita Geriatric Center
Manuel Ocana Architects have completed a centre where elderly patients can spend their last few years or months. The centre is single story and attempts to distinguish itself from a hospital like environment by incorporating wide open spaces and interconnected zones. Residents can move fluidly throughout the space without being hindered by architectural barriers or narrow corridors. The enclosure of the building conists of a two-layer cellular polycarbonate and is coloured depending on its orientation. The north facade uses blue and greenish plastics to strengthen the cold light while the south and west facades use yellow plastic to reinforce the warm light. The exposed concrete slab of the roof contains a series of multicoloured strips which ‘are a projection of the topographical surface of the quarries upon which the foundations were laid’. The coloured strips are also used as a navigational tool by the residents, the architect described how ‘this allows defining three areas through the use of three ranges of colours that include the outer adapted restrooms, and that are also associated with the tones filtered by the polycarbonate surfaces. This palette of changing atmospheres, of different densities and intensities of light, allow the user to decide “which way to go” and “where to stay”‘.

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