Mirella Vera Zavala

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Mirella Zavala, who is studying at the Universidad Catolica de Arequipa, Peru (4th year, part 2 equivalent), was shortlisted in the Architects for Health’s First Student Health Design Award (2007) for the following submission. For contact please email: mirellavera_zavala@hotmail.com

The Geriatric Centre, Sabandia, Arequipa, Peru

The Geriatric Centre is located at 2300m 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.

This project is part of a major urban development proposal which includes services, recreation and leisure spaces. The location was chosen because its fantastic views to the country side scenario and its easy accessibility.

One of the main premises of the design was to provide to the users – ‘adulto mayor’ (old adult) spaces of relaxation in the country side far from the city, surrounded by nature and the joy fresh air.

The design Intends to exploit at maximum the ‘magic of nature’, the architecture avoids ‘aggression’ but adapts to the topography and the natural landscape. Therefore the majority of social – public areas and the bedrooms sector – areas of major stay – have views to the exterior to enjoy the wonderful contrast of the dry hills of the archaeological zone opposite the site and the green of the agricultural land. It is the agricultural areas that organize all sectors and allow nature to be the protagonist and the architecture the frame that remarks the landscape.

There is a dual character of the architecture, extroverted open to the natural context but introverted too, creating internal spaces – courtyards – with water features and landscaped gardens for contemplation.

The Project is divided and organized in function and volume into 5 zones:

– The Social Activities sector

The Reception, dining area, playroom and reading room from part of this sector. The ceiling height and the volumes are higher in order to differentiate the activities and provide more comfortable internal environment. The views from theses spaces are the best!

– The Bedrooms Sector

Situate over two levels one of which is caved into the ground. This is possible to the gradient of the terrain. The views are also fantastic!

– The Workshops Sector

There are workshops for pottery, sculpture, paint, handcrafts and sewing. These spaces define the boundaries of the plot and are within the agricultural land which provides a very calm environment for these types of activities.

– The Clinical Sector

The design proposes consult-exam rooms, gymnasium and hydrotherapy rehabilitation room. Despite this sector is located at the back of the site, it has got terrific views and a quitter environment.

– The Chapel

The intention is to open the Chapel to the general public of the surrounding areas to create a sense of community with the nearest population as 85% are of catholic religion. The design – layout of openings and volumetric spaces – allows natural light to flow through the space provoking pleasant visual sensations. The location of the Chapel remarks the main entrance to the Geriatric Centre and its volume enhances the identification of the building from long distance.

The Architects for Health
First Student Health Design Award
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