New Cremona Hospital

Cremona | Italy


ASST of Cremona
Architectural design
MCA Mario Cucinella Architects
Services Provided
Structure design
180,000 square meters
Construction technique
wood, steel, reinforced concrete

A new hospital model

The project proposes a new model of healthcare architecture from which emerges a holistic vision of the health and well-being of the person, in close connection with territorial systems and the health care network. The New Hospital of Cremona integrates with the sociocultural context, becoming a health center that houses not only diagnostic and treatment services, but also spaces for social interaction, for recreation, to enhance the value of well-being and personal care.

The project area, straddling the urban sprawl and the Po and Morbasco Park, allows for their reconnection, thus becoming a new gateway for the natural system. The New Hospital, which is developed in continuity with the landscape of the Health Park, follows a semicircular course that ensures both physical and visual permeability between the two elements.

Top view of New Cremona Hospital
Render New Cremona Hospital and Health Park
Render detail circular structure new hospital in Cremona

A health ecosystem

The architectural design makes it possible to conceive of the proposed spaces as central cores from which new areas for expansion can emerge: the green cover that emerges from the park system creates covered spaces in relation to the surrounding landscape, which can be colonized over time in order to make the Hospital an active place for meeting and social interaction. The kindergarten functions and education-related areas currently present in the complex are complemented by a library and temporary residences to support patients and families in order to foster new relationships with the community.

Cremona New Hospital and Health Park project seen from above

The Health Park

A new addition to the landscape for the city of Cremona, it is a landmark for the community, enlivened by spaces of sociality and introspective places for physical and mental care and well-being. At the same time, it represents an area of naturalness and urban biodiversity.
It is characterized by three elements:
- climatic forest, a natural system that embraces the Hospital, characterized by green paths that link a sequence of therapeutic activities for residents and hospital users, alternating with areas of animal and plant biodiversity. Here it is possible to benefit from all-natural psycho-physical therapy, thanks to activities such as meditation and contemplation, Forest Bathing and Barefooting, outdoor single and collective reading spaces, and a community Food Forest;
- vital ring, a path characterized by spaces for recreational-sports activities and social interaction, in dialogue with public architectural elements and the hospital complex;
- rural ring, a large natural meadow system characterized by a central body of water as the pivotal point of the entire park. A venue for events and activities.

Cremona MCA Health Park and New Hospital Project

The hospital building

It will be a "city within a city" where multiple functions and relationships find space in one complex infrastructure.
The building, developed on seven above-ground levels, is divided into two main bodies that connect at the 00 level, corresponding to the main health access: a central core, characterized by the technological plate that houses the operating block divided into four sectors (emergency, cardiovascular, multifunctional, minor surgery), and an elevated structure characterized by the presence of medium/low-tech health services.
Starting from the conception of the user as the center of the hospital system, design takes place through principles of empathy, creativity and understanding of the needs of the person undergoing treatment, the healthcare staff and visitors, to ensure high levels of well-being. This is also made possible by optimizing parameters that, as evidenced by the most recent studies in Evidence-Based Design, have an impact on the course of patients and the performance of health care staff, such as natural lighting, relationship with nature, noise levels in environments and air quality.
The consideration of the patient as the fundamental center of the hospital system has guided the design strategy: on the one hand, the patient will find different environments in the hospital depending on the pathways and intensity of care he or she will have to follow; on the other hand, the isolation of the various departments is broken, no longer distinct "cells" but groups of different professionals (doctors and nurses) working on the same patient. The result is a system in which the entire hospital cooperates in patient care as if it were a single department, and not as a summation of isolated departments.
Another central theme is the flexibility of management of the hospital, which, right from its design, must prepare for the new, with suitable spaces and modes: thus in the design, the rearrangement of inpatient areas is facilitated to respond to changing healthcare needs (the 20% of inpatient rooms can be transformed into an intensive care area with the interposition of a filter, and the 80% can be transformed into a two-bed room in order to be able to cope with sudden bed needs).
The architecture of the New Cremona Hospital also defines a gradient in the accessibility of spaces: from secluded environments in which privacy and patient well-being become central, to those that are more permeable and open to citizens, which house commercial services for users and visitors and connect the hospital to the urban scale. This is the case, for example, with Hospital Street, a reception area for the public but also a space for interaction for healthcare staff, and the Management Center, which on the second floor houses spaces dedicated to the governance of clinical activities located throughout the territory.
The strategic area of the Hospital is where the care services are allocated, which are the bridge between the Hospital itself and the surrounding area:
- Emergency Room. On the 00 floor, it reflects the "Hospital within a Hospital" scheme and is able to function autonomously from the rest of the facility without mutual interference, cutting down the time required to perform scheduled medical services; at the same time, it is connected with fast and dedicated routes to diagnostic services, operating blocks, intensive care and inpatient wards. There is also an autonomous section for the management of the infected patient with direct and dedicated connection to precepted inpatient areas in case of medical emergency.
- Diagnostic Imaging. On the 00 floor, the service is contiguous with the Emergency Department, Operating Block and intensive care units to which it is connected via dedicated corridors.
- Outpatient area. On floor 01, outside the other pathways, in connection with areas designated for booking and admission.

Cremona New Hospital Project Details
Interior detail of new Cremona hospital

Ecological footprint

The new intervention is an opportunity to integrate mitigation responses to the effects of climate change into the building and outdoor space: natural elements and processes, Nature-Based Solutions, such as the presence of vegetation, water, and the choice of paving materials help to mitigate the urban heat island by achieving a decrease in the average perceived temperature of about 4┬░ from the current situation.
In addition, in addition to the choice of specific materials and construction solutions, passive strategies-such as optimal orientation, wind permeability and natural lighting-are used with the aim of minimizing the impact on the environment by reducing emissions.

Ecological Footprint New Cremona Hospital and Health Park
"We need to return to an idea of a hospital that is part of the life of the city and not solely a place of care."
Mario Cucinella

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