PIAM: 7th Edition. “Therapeutic architecture Designing for healt”

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The motto of the contest Matimex International Architecture Prize in its seventh edition is «Therapeutical architecture. Design for health».
The most immediate environment, be it architectural, urban or natural, has a direct impact on the health of the population. To explain the relevance of this statement, it is necessary to understand that health depends on the circumstances that surround people: socio-economic and educational factors, housing conditions, health services, existence of green spaces; all of them make up the social determinants of health.

Health is not only the absence of disease, we must have a broader and more positive vision of the factors that contribute to its increase.
Considering these two premises: that health is determined by social circumstances and that can be gained in addition to losing it, we can open a reflection on two
complementary lines of work.

– Achitecture to regain health: Sanitary architecture focuses on the creation of buildings for the recovery of health. Spaces where the design should counteract feelings such as fear, loneliness and pain. The use of light, color, natural ventilation or internal circulation and even the search for
locations that allow views of nature make architecture a means of alleviating suffering. The architect or the designer has the power, and therefore the responsibility, to transform potentially hostile environments into friendly spaces, often using a domestic scale, reproducing home as a safe environment.

– Achitecture to increase health: In Latin, Curare, means to care, heal; public health must affect above all in the first meaning of the term: caring to protect and prevent. It’s essential that citizens can choose options for healthy nearby environments, and that urban interventions try to alleviate avoidable social inequalities. Cities designed for pedestrians that reduce the effects of noise and air pollution, green and sports areas adapted to the human scale and their functional needs, warm and stress-free urban environments, safe pedestrian paths or centers of interaction and social cohesion. In short, urban and architectural design as an instrument to generate healthy environments capable of preventing diseases and increasing levels of public health.

The following list is provided as an example of some ideas on some of the typologies framed within this competition motto:

Architecture to regain health

– Hospitals and clinics
– Primary care centers
– Dental clinics
– Speciality centers
– Physiotherapy or functional recovery clinics
– Medicalized senior centers
– Alternative therapy centers

Architecture to increase health

– Parks
– Sport centers
– Recovery of marginal spaces for social uses
– Citizen or social centers
– Neighborhood centers
– Wellness centers / spas