Zagreb-based 3HLD has just won an international closed competition to design a new private medical center in the seaside town of Split, Croatia. With the keen eye of design surgeons, 3HLD has taken what we think of as the typical monolithic medical structure, incised key exterior sections, implanted the voids with green gardens, and finished by wrapping the entire building in bandages of protective sunscreen. The result? A light and airy medical facility that patients may actually enjoy visiting.
Located in the picturesque Firule neighborhood, the architects wanted to capitalize on great views sea views and Adriatic breezes while respecting the context of the surrounding neighborhood. To achieve this, they wrapped the building in a protective screen that serves as both a sophisticated light regulator as well as a reveal. This visual element is inspired by Ivo Radic’s brise-soleil, one of the most notable architectural elements of Split’s modern architecture.
Behind the bandages, 3HLD removed several sections and replaced them with great green atriums or loggias. These floating green spaces offer calming semi-public areas full of Mediterranean landscape and ample seating where patients, doctors, and visitors can connect, wait, and even relax.
Natural light and fresh air pour in from these pocket gardens, creating natural ventilation and ample daylighting. All public spaces are located in the basement, ground and first floors, the patient clinic and administration are on the upper floors, and the garage is underground.
With gardens taking the place of hallways and articulating the connections between different sections of the medical center, patients and doctors are never too far from fresh air and ocean views. Rather than cutting them off from the outside world, 3HLD’s design keeps them in constant contact with nature.