Fabrizio Gonzales Casino

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Fabrizio Gonzales Casino, who is currently studying at the Universidad Catolica de Santa Maria, Arequipa, Peru (4th year, part 2 equivalent), entered the Architects for Health’s First Student Health Design Award (2007) with the following submission. For contact please email: g_fabrizio16@hotmail.com

Geriatric Centre

The Geriatric Centre is located at 2300 m.a.s.l. in the district of Sabandia, City of Arequipa, Country of Peru.

Its capacity is for 42 persons distributed into 21 double bedrooms.

The Medical Centre serves the permanent users of the premises and would also serve the local community.

The Design of the Geriatric Centre is inspired by the magnificent context and the quietness of its location. It provides comfortable and diverse accommodation for old people.

The project is located on a flat topography. The natural surrounding elements as the river, agricultural land and mountains offer a fantastic opportunity to ‘open the design’ to its environment.

The intention is to provide to the users – old people – an ‘isolated’ environment far away from the contamination and stress of the city. The users of the Geriatric Centre will enjoy their stay in a community type environment as there are spaces for integration: play rooms, workshops, dining areas; spaces for rest and nature contemplation and a Medical Centre for a continuous assessment of their health.

Two accesses are proposed; the service access for logistics that is used also by the geriatric centre staff and the second a pedestrian access from the parking area to the main ‘receptive square’ with its calming views adjacent to the main entrance to the building.

The construction is made in local traditional materials: brick walls, piers boundaries, load bearing brick walls, concrete slabs. The structural design – layout of columns and load bearing walls – takes into account earthquakes movements which are very common and frequent in this part of the country.

Generous openings – windows and glazed doors – allow the integration of the internal and external spaces such as courtyards and landscaped areas.

Functional Organization and wayfinding

When arriving to the building via the car park and the main square, the first point of contact is the Information Centre. Adjacent to it is located the reception. To one side of the reception is the administration zone and to the other the ‘social’ zone through which we get access to a ‘first public courtyard’.

From this Courtyard there is an access to the Medical Centre. It consists of reception, waiting areas, nurse base, consultant/exam rooms for osteoporosis and ophthalmology.

Also from this courtyard one can gain access to the Multi-purpose Room and a battery of toilets. Through a footpath we get to the second ‘semi-public courtyard.

It is only from this second Courtyard that it is possible to access to the bedrooms zone – giving them more privacy – to one side and to the other to the cafeteria.

The third courtyard organises and links the workshops zone. The access to the Chapel is located in this courtyard that also has a link to the cafeteria. A second zone of bedrooms is located here which has terraced areas with great views.

The Chapel of the Geriatric Centre represents a symbol of the Catholic Religion, which is practiced by the majority of people of the community. It is an element of cultural and personal identity.

The Chapel is located at the end of the main footpath as a relevant building to the project. It is orientated to the north so it gets direct natural light through its openings to originate playful shadow shapes in its interior.

It is surrounded by water that flows into its interior making the experience within the chapel ‘special’ because the calming sound of water. It has a Belfry and a Sacristy which has on one of its fronts a Cross submerged in water defining the altar for the priest.

The Architects for Health
First Student Health Design Award
was sponsored by



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