The Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital, in Vigo, designed by luis vidal + architects, has just opened its doors in the city of Vigo (Galicia, Spain). Being one of the largest hospitals in Europe and one of the most technologically advanced medical centres in the world, the project meets all optimal criteria for flexibility and modularity, aimed at a state-of-the-art building of its characteristics. This is demonstrated by the fact that this hospital is the first to receive a BREEAM certification, and furthermore, it will be used as the benchmark case for all future BREEAM Hospitals.

One of the key issues was a careful study of the building’s integration into its surroundings; its shear volume and overwhelming scale took us to fragment the building brief into 3 distinct areas; outpatient, technical area and inpatient, all articulated through a central spine, a true horizontal and vertical circulation artery, providing intuitive wayfinding and natural distress to patients. Prismatic Paint (a Paint designed to change color depending on the conditions of natural light and viewing angle) has been used for the first time ever in a building of this scale, mutating from white through to green and then blue, in a further attempt to make the building fragment and integrate it into the natural surrounding landscape.

The result is a building that stands out for its flexibility, functionality and performance; both socially and environmentally, the building serves patients and their relatives, medical and management staff with grace, whilst respecting its surroundings and optimizing passive and active measures to minimize its impact.

Intuitive way finding for patients to orient themselves, the correct use of natural light to provide quality spaces, the use of color as well as careful studied acoustics, all contribute to making a friendlier stress free environment, helping reduce patients anxiety and hoping for a faster healing.

Design team:

Luis Vidal + Architects
Jacobo Rodriguez-Losada, Vicente Fernandez Couto

Project partners:

Consultants: Idom
Contractors: ACCIONA, PUENTES, VEOLIA