Park for new hospital of Cremona

Year: 2023
Location: Cremona
Customer: Azienda Socio-Sanitaria Territoriale (ASST) di Cremona
Status: Competition
Surface: 20 ha
Partner: Baumschlager Eberle Architekten, Deerns, Oneworks, Ceas
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The landscape design for the New Hospital of Cremona aims at mending the existing fracture in the urban/peri-urban context in which the intervention area is located. The basic idea is to create a courtyard system that foresees different spaces opening up within a new urban park, where the hospital function is more harmoniously integrated with the urban context. Thanks to the inclusion of various activities, such as skatepark, fitness area, children playground, open-air market etc., people will stay in the park throughout the day. New buildings with tertiary functions also find their place: parking, kindergarten, spaces dedicated to the university, guesthouse, gymnasium, restaurant, offices etc.

As historical memory, some architectural elements of the existing hospital are preserved and converted to accommodate new functions compatible with the needs of the project transformations.
This doesn’t apply only to the buildings, but also to the existing landscape, as most of the trees will be transplanted and relocated on site when the work is finished. With this in mind, the hospital and its park do not constitute a decentralized island, but reconnect not only the urban but also the social fabric of the city of Cremona.

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The main access to the new hospital is emphasized by a photovoltaic canopy, which, from the parking lot leads to the main access where the kiss&ride is also located. The emergency department, on the other hand, is accessed from Giuseppina Street so as not to interfere with other routes. At the center of the new hospital is a full-height public atrium, which provides ample visibility and allows access to all departments. Designed as a winter garden, this space accommodates also public functions such as the cafeteria, a food court, pharmacy and stores.

The typical Lombard courtyard system, on which the new hospital was developed, made it possible to devise green roofs and garden terraces, designed to respond to the various needs of hospital functions. For example, the botanical garden for mothers and children allows to learn about different types of plants and relax among various scents and colors.

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The other gardens serving the wards are: the rehabilitation garden with direct access to the park, for the elderly and patients in need of physical therapy; the sensory and therapeutic gardens designed with visual, tactile, sound and olfactory circuits, with different specifications for psychiatric and oncology patients; and the relaxation and Italian-style gardens in the south wing where offices and surgical departments are located. These spaces are intended to be semi-private, to enjoy the view of the park, but are oriented to give a sense of autonomy and privacy to the patients who use them.

The park as a whole is characterized by bicycle, pedestrian and driveway paths that follow a sinuous course to emphasize the contrast between the regular grid of the architecture and the more natural design of the park. The jumps in elevation that distinguish the green space allow a visual connection with the garden terraces of the hospital, while mitigating the visual impact of architectural elements.

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The project also includes the implementation of some types of SuDS (Sustainable Drainage Systems) to respond to the urgency of climate challenges. Those systems are designed to manage the hydrological balance due to sudden rainfall in urbanized places and reduce the pollutant load on water bodies by making settlements behave as “sponge cities”. At the same time, they create green infrastructures that can harness the full benefits provided by the ecosystem services of nature-based solutions (NBS). These include: water basins and depressions that can be flooded in case of extreme events, bioswales along roadway arteries that circumscribe the area of intervention, green parking lots, draining pavements etc. Such solutions, ensure a better management of rainwater and also its recovery for irrigation purposes.

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