The unit has six boxes, all located on the south side of the wing, facing the glass-walled gallery for family visits. The first decision was to make them as ample as possible, which was done by redistributing the entire area to adjust it to the conditions imposed by the structure and by the existing utility installation. The second was to eliminate visual obstacles that separated it from outdoors. The hall was moved from its former central position, with no natural light, and turned into a gallery lit by windows facing the garden. Service areas are located between that gallery and the rooms in boxes of different sizes.
The work was carried out in two months, with the added difficulty that the hospital’s upper and lower floors were in use during that period. This called for extraordinary precision and coordination of the different construction activities.
The nature of the hospital surroundings, its organization and manner of functioning has a considerable capacity to generate environmental stressors for patients and their families. When the patients are children, the process can be even more acute due to the specific peculiarities of children’s cognitive interpretation and emotional evaluation of their surroundings. It is equally true, however, that those same peculiarities allow children to find stimuli that counteract those stressors with relative ease. Such environmental de-stressors are associated with positive emotional experiences and have a high capacity to influence the wellbeing of hospitalized children.
This intervention was a radical measure that sought to resolve functional needs while eliminating elements identified with hospitals. Thus, new materials such as Himacs were employed to round corners and avoid impact protectors. Bedsteads were designed to minimize the presence of medical devices and were given colors and shapes intended to bring a more playful feeling to the space.
In this line of research, we should mention that this is the first such center in Europe to facilitate clinical studies of pediatric photobiology. Lighting plays a leading role in the area of environmental stimuli and therefore, both natural and artificial lighting has been taken into account, using latest-generation smd 5050 triple-chip white leds and an RGB system with control of 856 colors through a tri-led chip system for color therapy.