Renzo Piano designs a Pediatric Hospice among the treetops

In addition to Bellaria Hospital in Bologna, a unique facility is under construction to provide specialized care and clinical and care pathways for pediatric patients and their families. Architect Renzo Piano and his studio, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the Children’s Hospice designed for Hospice MariaTeresa Chiantore Seràgnoli Onlus Foundation, a non-profit association that improves the quality of life of terminally ill patients and provides assistance and care in the Bentivoglio, Bellaria and Casalecchio Hospices.

These medical facilities will be flanked by a new one Hospice for children who, under the auspices of Fondazione Hospice with the Emilia Romagna Region, the local public health unit and pediatric medical professionals, Regional reference center for pediatric palliative care in the Emilia Romagna region.

In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Renzo Piano spoke about the need for care services that are beautiful, because beauty and science must go hand in hand, and recalled that “architecture is not only the art of responding to needs, but also to desires and even dreams“.
In addition to specialized treatment and special care programs, the Children’s Hospice offers its young guests the opportunity to make a dream come true: the dream of living in a “TreehouseAn idea that is sure to fascinate adults as well, as it recalls the profound idea of ​​freedom associated with the world of nature.

A tree house to find relief, surrounded by the magic and natural beauty of the forest. A place where architecture becomes a tangible image of the role of the hospice, a place that brings “relief” to its guests, lift them above the pain just as pediatric hospice is being raised above the earth.

Living among the trees, in direct contact with their foliage as it changes over the seasons, also offers the benefit of harnessing the natural healing and calming power of the world of nature. The hospice is in fact located in a park with gently undulating ground, where a variety of local tree species will be planted, mainly deciduous trees to let the sunlight through in winter and also to grow meadows and shrubs. In order to get the effect of a forest in a few months, the planted trees are already 7 to 10 meters high.

The Children’s Hospice will contain a number of structures, all raised above the ground on slender columns. Due to the natural slope of the site, these volumes blend harmoniously into the landscape, and to encourage this, the opaque parts of the facades are covered with wood and the car park is hidden under green dunes of vegetation. The main body will be a space built around a central garden and patio, the ground floor of which will be a transition element connecting to the outer levels of the other volumes. Light antenna elements will connect this central main body to two satellites with eight patient family stays on one side, and a chapel / meditation room and terrace overlooking the Savena Valley on the other, which will in turn be connected to the Savena Valley. funeral home. The presence of the forest also offers important benefits in tempering temperatures. To save energy, a photovoltaic installation will be built on the roof of the main volumes, which will meet one third of the estimated annual energy requirement of the entire complex.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of RPBW, rendered by Cristiano Zaccaria

Status: ongoing
Location: Bologna, Italy
Client: Seragnoli Hospice Foundation
Design: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Architects http://www.rpbw.com/
Design team: G. Grandi, S. Russo (responsible partner and associate)

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