Hospitals and Rehabilitation centres in chile
TEXT LESLY MARQUINA PHOTOGRAPHY JUAN FRANCISCO VARGAS M.
while taking care of health, ideally, hospitals and clinics should also be sustainable. these spaces must be efficient from their conception and throughout the offering of services to society.
Architecture in Latin America is increasingly modern and tries to reinvent and reuse pre-existing places to give continuity to a busy life. It also seeks to be technologically innovative and provide efficient places that fulfil the population’s needs such as health. Hence, its key role in designing and creating functional and durable structures to house public and private health services.
In Chile, actions to strengthen the public health infrastructure with high-quality standards were started in 2005 within the framework of a Country Energy Efficiency Programme created by the Ministry of Economy. This meant the introduction of efficient materials.
Hernán Marambio, an administrator and architect of the Ministry of Health, refers to ventilated façades with Trespa® materials as a key element in the global energy concept that plays a big role from the durability to the low long-term maintenance of health buildings.
Since Trespa opened its offices in Chile in 2010, Trespa® materials have been used in numerous healthcare projects, such as the Talca Regional Hospital and seven of the fourteen Rehabilitation Centres of the Teletón Foundation.
AT THE SERVICE OF SOCIETY
The Talca Regional Hospital, located in the Maule Region in centre of Chile and founded in 1803, is one of the oldest public entities in the country. The 2010 earthquake caused great damage to its fragile structure, and as a consequence, the government pushed for the construction of a new hospital in 2011.
The architect of this project, Álvaro Prieto Lindholm (www.arquitalaria.cl) found Trespa when looking for materials which could provide efficiency and durability. “The building was very close to the road and therefore exposed to graffiti and damage. We needed a façade that was highly resistant and sustainable and this high-pressure laminate gave us that.”
The design of the building had particular shapes and Trespa’s offering allowed to have solutions for both exterior and interior. Whereas Trespa® Meteon® clads the exterior, Trespa® TopLab®VERTICAL was used inside the building for doors, dressing rooms, and corridor walls. Trespa® was used not only for its durability but also for the uniformity of its design.
“We used a variety of colours of the same hue, giving a warm feeling that is not common in public hospitals, where ceramics were traditionally used creating a cold environment. Sick people need to feel better and for that, Trespa’s colour range is very helpful,” says Prieto Lindholm.
The long-term vision of this type of public project in Chile is associated with the reduction of operating costs once the hospital opens its doors. “If we can reduce that impact with these materials it is beneficial for the country and its population,” Prieto Lindholm says.
A UNIFIED IMAGE
The Teletón Foundation is a private entity that has been raising funds for the past 30 years to provide rehabilitation services for children and adolescents with neuromuscular and skeletal deficiencies. It is funded through government funds and private donations.
“We wanted to change and improve the operability of the centres, [and] thanks to a material like Trespa® Meteon®, we achieved that. It also allowed us to establish a global image that is now recognized throughout Chile,” says Tomás Hernandez, responsible for inspecting Teletón’s sites.
The first Teletón Institute remodelled with Trespa® was the main headquarters located in Santiago de Chile. ABWB Architects, Yves Besançon and René Pizarro, won the bid to lead the project. “We wanted a building with something different, with a playful and colourful image that moved away from the classic style of a white hospital because it was for children [and]
they should feel welcomed,” both architects explain.
They discovered Trespa® Meteon® when looking for a material that not only provided the colour they had in mind but also was highly resistant and durable over time, allowing them to optimise the budget in the long term.
We found Trespa when searching
for an energy efficient solution for
hospital development and design.
They understood our goal and helped
us to materialise it.
Hernán Marambio, administrator and architect at the Ministry of Health
Using Trespa® Meteon® allowed us to establish a global image that is now recognized throughout Chile.
Tomás Hernandez, Teletón Foundation
“One of Trespa®‘s advantages is the speed and the efficiency of the installation. We always prefer installers who have previously worked with Trespa® because they understand how the material works in order to produce the best results; otherwise, the desired effect is not generated. In addition, they maximise the use of the product, resulting in waste savings that really makes a difference in terms of environmental impact,” says Pizarro.
Francisco Moraga, owner of Macsa—a company that distributes Trespa® Meteon® and has installed several Teletón Institutes façades— says that “for construction companies working with Trespa® has higher costs but, thanks to the quality and durability of these products, they used it because in the end the building façades require minimum maintenance and the projects remain looking the same after many years.”
Teletón Institutes are spread around the country, which means the buildings are impacted by different kinds of climates: from the dryness of the north to the cold and humidity of the south. “Given the possibility to obtain LEED Certifications, the opportunities of using a product such as Trespa® Meteon®, which is versatile and trustable, have also increased because it works in all climates,” says Gabriel Campos, Engineering Studies Manager of Tecsa, the company in charge of the construction of the Teletón Institute in Antofagasta, a city in the north of Chile.
Overall healthcare buildings should be adaptable and respond to the population needs. As architect Yves Besançon says, “Architecture must cease to be rigid. It must adapt and change according to people, families, businesses, and technological changes to achieve a meeting space that we can modify anytime we want and make it really recyclable as we change, and in that Trespa is an ally.”
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