The project was awarded first prize in an international competition for the realization of a state-of-the-art cardiac clinic in Ticino and deemed worthy of construction by the jury. The plan successfully satisfied the many criteria specified for the competition, including architectural quality, smooth flows of circulation, and low construction and management costs. A special attribute of the building design is its concern for spaces not only for the patients but also the workers who spend so much of their daily lives there. In terms of its architectural expression, the structure has two quite distinct parts: the operational departments, such as the service desk, are located in the lower level, where challenging criteria must be met to fulfil the many technical and professional demands; the upper part, on the other hand, houses the in-patient wards, conceived to have a “hotel feel”, or as the French call it, a “hôtel de soins”. Similarly, the large central patio, covered by a large “winged” dome, provides a pleasant, inviting atmosphere that counteracts the more typical hospital aspects of the building. Its long rows of windows ensure the welcome presence of natural light in the most frequently-used portion of the patio, that is, the portion open to the reception areas and overlooked by the balconies of the inpatient floors above. The hospital structure respects all the functional criteria for proper planning of the operating rooms and all the spaces required to support the complex. Built and inaugurated in less than two years, the Cardiocentro, has become a highly-respected medical centre in Switzerland and home of advanced cardiovascular research. In addition to the cardiac surgery wards, there are also departments of nuclear medicine and a transfusion centre that was subsequently endowed with state-of-the-art equipment for “robotic” operations. As of recently, there is a plan to expand by medical structure with a super elevation of three additional floors. Two floors will house administrative offices presently located on the ground floor (making room for new doctors’ offices), while the third and top floor will have research laboratories and a new, large cafeteria with outdoor seating on a terrace boasting of a magnificent view of the city and the gulf of Lugano. The peaceful nature of this space responds well to cardiopathic patients’ need for an environment that can revitalize their bodies and minds, especially in light of the depression frequently associated with this disease. In the “technical operative” part, the architecture of this additional volume is expressed in the same language as that used for the lower-level services, while the area for breaks and food service has a much lighter quality and a different use of materials. Overall, the new addition fits well with the rest of the structure while also adding volumetric dignity, especially with regard to the adjacent high-rise Cantonal Hospital. While the plan for the super elevation has been approved, it has yet to be built.
Projects, Public Buildings