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New European Bauhaus
News article25 May 20211 min read

A sustainable health centre improving the morale of patients and staff

We are interested in understanding the impact of our surroundings on our health and how we can make changes for the better.

Laracha Health Centre
Laracha Health Centre
H. Santos-Díez

Is it possible to make public buildings more environmentally & economically sustainable? Can they look & feel more welcoming while becoming better for the environment?

We received by the Galician Health Service the example of the expansion of "A Laracha Health Centre", an Out-of-Hospital Emergency Care Centre in A Coruña, Spain.

The objective was to construct a building with materials of natural origin whose production process generates less waste, requires low energy consumption, respects nature & can be recycled or reused.

The structural systems, the enclosure, partitioning & most of the finishes are solved by technological elements made of solid wood & its derivatives, allowing a high level of prefabrication & a dry construction process.

The environmental efficiency of the building was taken into account, approaching the parameters of near-zero consumption.

The building is accessed through a highly transparent windbreak that acts as a thermal regulator. The entrance hall is the representative part of the building & the place where visitors are welcomed.

It is developed around an outdoor courtyard shared with the existing health centre. It's the visual point of contact between the two buildings, which are transformed into one.

Light & vegetation enter from the outside & act as a filter, softening the surroundings, controlling the sunlight & the views. This courtyard contributes to the diversity of the space & accompanies the interior communication with the current health centre.

For this spacious & luminous hall, they sought a good match between function & comfort. They resorted to natural, noble materials: oak wood panelling & laminated fir wood structure.

The empty space on the plot was landscaped with mounded gardens to protect the existing tree & create a green privacy barrier in front of the consultation windows.

The good thermal performance of the building results in savings during its useful life. After that, its elements will be easy to dismantle & reuse or recycle.

The impact of the wooden building on patients has been very positive, as it creates a safe, healthy & welcoming environment.

? Laracha Health Centre © H. Santos-Díez


Publication date
25 May 2021