The new psychiatric rehabilitation center with an independent sheltered housing unit is positioned within the urban fabric of Bolzano’s historically renown Gries residential district. Sited along the neighborhood’s main street, the center presents itself as a residential building rather than a health-care facility and takes on the chromatic character of the surrounding area with a rhythmic palette of earthy colours.
The building is comprised of a base with a rectangular footprint from which two separate, 3-storeyed volumes cantilever outwards to create an inner courtyard open to the sky and crisscrossed by bridging terraces. A central stair connects these two upper buildings and delineates the inner courtyard into two separate patios whereby spaces with varying degrees of privacy and views are carved out.
All of the programs serving and open to the larger community are located at the ground level while the therapy and administrative functions are complemented by the large first-floor patio. The upper two levels house the private rooms and sheltered housing component of the project.
The hallways serving the private rooms overlook the inner courtyard and therefore move away from the double-loaded corridor typically seen in hospital design to permit a more airy and sunny environment. Views across the two buildings promote a connectiveness between the residents without compromising needs for protection and privacy. Indeed the call to balance open, social spaces with more domestic, circumscribed spaces accompanied the design process.
The interiors of the project develop the residential tone of the center where warm, soft hues prevail. Colourful accents in the common kitchens and living rooms break away from the muted tones of the interiors while the bedrooms make for a light-hearted palette of pastels. The furniture is largely custom made with an un- expectantly exuberant detailing of oak and laminate finishes.
Completion: September 2014