Portoazul Clinic: Architecture for recovery

In the municipality of Puerto Colombia (Atlántico), between the university corridor and Avenida del Mar, the Portoazul Clinic was built, a third-level medical care structure with a maximum height of seven levels and whose shape in "that", not only It evoked the waves of the Caribbean Sea and planted internal circulations to optimize travel times, but also took advantage of the wind currents in favor of the project. The clinic is part of the hospital complex that is part of the Caribbean International Center Partial Plan, and last November it had second place in the FIABCI award in the Special Projects category.

The built area of ​​the architectural complex totals 43,000 m², is located in the department of Atlántico, and is divided into two sectors located on two levels of parking: the first is the clinic, and the second, a building for offices and premises commercials, and another for the Diagnostic Center. The 22,000 m² built of the Portoazul Clinic was preceded by in-depth research that analyzed different hospital projects in Colombia, Chile, Spain and the United States to identify architectural typologies, trends, materials, and bioclimatic strategies that could contribute to the general approach of the project . The Cure y Cía Ltda team was responsible for the urban, landscape and architectural components, as well as the other studies and technical aspects involved in the development of the hospital complex, which is why it designed a specific medical-architectural program for this project. Because the complex is located in a free zone, the management of public and private areas was one of the fundamental aspects in the conception phase and subsequently defined the location and distribution of levels and zones. The Portoazul Clinic has 117 hospital beds, seven rooms for general and ambulatory surgery, two for maternity surgery, an emergency service, special units for consultation and 350 parking spaces.

Three different points give access to the clinic, the first three levels of which house the areas with the greatest influx of public: the emergency service, the administrative areas, general services and external consultation. The latter has two entrances, one internal and the other direct from outside the building. The medical care services that require pediatric and adult hospitalization, surgery, and the intensive care unit, were located from the fourth level in order to provide a calmer environment for the recovery of patients The functional scheme also included a basement intended for. storage and location of technical rooms. This same approach guided the construction of the office tower, where the first two levels are for commercial use and from the fourth, there are 150 private units for doctors. This zoning between public and private areas was reflected in the exterior treatment of the clinic that, as a strategy against the high solar radiation - loaded with heat - of the Atlantic Coast, it used both in facades and in thermal insulating roofs in high density polyurethane , attached to sheets of fiber cement forming air chambers with the facade masonry. Thermal comfort was achieved through the installation of a floating facade with openings of 20% of its area, which, by means of a 'radiator' effect, controlled the thermal transmission inside the clinic, for each of the facades and in different Seasons of the year. The location of the bathrooms in the rooms and the consulting rooms against the facades also contributed in this regard, since they act as thermal transmission filters. Thanks to these strategies, the requirements and investments in air conditioning systems and electricity consumption were reduced by more than 30%.

In terms of infrastructure, the clinic has air conditioning equipment composed of cooling towers and chillers, large drinking water reserve tanks, fire networks, power plants with total replacement, fire doors, internal walls with fire treatment according to its location and use, three private bed elevators, three public elevators, security and monitoring systems, wiring and communications systems, as well as medical equipment that make it the most technologically advanced institution on the Colombian Atlantic Coast. Although the design encompasses the architectural, structural and bioclimatic, among other elements associated with the construction of the building, the conceptual objective behind the project was to contribute to the physical and psychological recovery of the patients and their families. According to the team today and far from what was thought years ago, the family especially - and to a lesser degree the visitor - has taken a lot of strength within the main objectives in the design of hospitals through the management of spaces , amenities, comfort, colors, etc. .. the idea is not only to make them feel comfortable but to place them in an environment of tranquility and active collaboration in the psychological recovery of their family member. This will increase as health projects, such as the Portoazul Clinic, far from being considered as recipients of men and processes, are considered as "true instruments of therapy." The hospital complex is part of the International Center of the Caribbean project, which under the figure of a Partial Plan, brings together four areas: Institutional -health and complementary uses-; Commercial -commercial center- and two more Mixed -offices & commercial-. The Partial Plan proposes to generate an urban development milestone between Puerto Colombia and Barranquilla, making this clinic a structure capable of extending its services to patients from Barranquilla, Cartagena, Santa Marta, Valledupar, Sincelejo and Montería. On November 25, 2014, the International Federation of Real Estate Professions, FIABCI, awarded the Portoazul Clinic second place in the Special Projects category.