One thing that architecture has taught us is that we don’t need to look for big spaces in order to speak about her. The vocation of achitecture is present in an inter-scale way, in the urban scale as much as in every small detail. From the slightest encounter among pieces, to the relation between megastructures, everything makes sense with human presence, with the perpetual movement of daily activities, with the relation between the materials which harbor and connect, the humans wich inhabit, and the environment that welcomes. How the human body communicates in this triangular relation is probably the essence of architecture.
When speaking about body relations with built spaces is very appealing, for example, watching the areas for dance and how the body movement triggers an entires choreography of spaces. But running away from grandiloquence, and focusing on daily, small, imperceptible things, I found an interesting example, which is both, simple and clear: The AZA Physiotherapy and Osteopathy Clinic, from the architecture studio CRUX and Carpe.
This proyect is about the reformation of a place, a facility, that could be in any street of any of our cities, without having a specially conditioning context, with a rectangular high floor and an access through one of its smaller sides. The interesting thing about this project is how it undestands that the person is, without a doubt, the center of the work and the osteopathy, a branch of health based on the holistic conception of the human body and an interrelation of all its parts, is the field that rules its spatial configuration.
Almost as a metaphore, the clinic is organized around spaces articulated by moving panels, hanging, that transform the position of the elements of separation, the visuals, the paths, adapting to a program of uses which optimizes the scarce surface, reactivating the excesive rigidity of the rectangular place and, above all, gives the accurate scale, nothing less, than to each human activity. The movile structure divides the clinic into four main quadrants: waiting room, multipurpose room, consultation and services. Treatment zone, yoga space, recovery activities, or even talks and product presentation; they all can fit in the same place, and are those the activities which alter the architecture. Interrelated parts, movement and articulation of the elements: the analogy is evident.
Just as spaces are shamelessly displayed, the systems used and the materiality that composes them appears naked, in the exact measure, in a warm and humble way: wooden panels, metal carpentry, polycarbonate, work on the texture, temperatura and light, giving this cozy, recognizable, palpable feature.
In words of Raquel Sola and Alejandro García from CRUX, “this clinic wouldn’t make sense without the hands; they adapt the space, manipulate it”. It seems like a beautiful way of working the architecture, in this case, from the touch, which is present in the use that it develops, as well as in the generation of space, and also in the constructive detail. And this coherence is nothing but the role of architecture, treated with affection, simplicity and insight.
Writing: Ana Asensio
Translation spanish-english: Natalia Dalinkevicius