Completed in 2014, the Social Charity Institution Padre Rubinos Headquarters designed by Elsa Urquijo Architects is a shelter for the life that transcends in it. The use of horizontal lines arises from the search for peace and relaxation creating a sequence of measured and ordered spaces.
Padre Rubinos Social Charity Institution Technical Information
- Architects: Elsa Urquijo Architects
- Location: A Coruña, Spain
- Client: Fundación Amancio Ortega
- Type: Hospital, Church, Nurse Housing
- Area: 15.882 m2
- Project Year: 2014
- Photographs: © Elsa Urquijo Architects
It is an architectural space that revolves around those individuals in need. The academic composition of the facade, and featuring a portico at the entrance that surrounds and defines a square, open to the city, re-assume the concept of cloister attuned to the religious character and social work of the institution.
– Elsa Urquijo
Padre Rubinos Headquarters Photographs
Text by the Architects
The social charity institution Padre Rubinos was born in A Coruña nearly a century ago with a dedication to giving shelter and asylum to the needy. Later it has continued growing and expanding its scope to nursery schools and the elderly. Now, Spanish architect Elsa Urquijo presents its new headquarter to us. This is one of the most important in the country in its field because it unifies a wide range of services (shelter, nursery, nursing home, etc.) in a unique architectural complex.
The design has born in a quiet way of understanding architecture. The building is conceived as a shelter for the life that transcends in it, a serene space, unpretentious, and to endure. The use of horizontal lines arises from the search for peace and relaxation creating a sequence of measured and ordered spaces.
It is an architectural space that revolves around those individuals in need, the academic composition of the facade, and featuring a portico at the entrance that surrounds and defines a square, open to the city. They re-assume the concept of cloister attuned to the religious character and social work of the institution.
The idea of a patio is repeated throughout the architectural complex as the focal point of the different spaces seeking to strengthen the clarity, light, and visual continuity between interior and exterior. Different volumes fit the morphology of the terrain so that both the ground floor and the upper floors maintain direct external communication.
The nursing home for the elderly occupies the most extensive use of the complex. On the ground floor are the common areas like living rooms, professional offices, therapy rooms, etc. while at the upper two floors private areas are located linked to the bedrooms.
Special care has been taken in the use of materials that meet the requirements for a building of these characteristics: high quality, strength, durability, and ecology (the architects used a kind of floor which catalyzes the carbon dioxide, as leaves in the forest do).; meanwhile giving humanity, serenity, and warmth to the interior (warm soil, wood texture, natural fabrics, etc.)
The nursery school is set on a single floor. The clarity and spatial continuity between the classrooms allow for versatile use of the same. A visual and symbolic relationship to the common areas of the nursing home is also sought after so that both generations can relate and bond.
The homeless shelter is divided into 3 different uses: accommodation, dining and a center of ongoing social care to be carried out mainly on the ground floor and the upper floor reserved for the rooms. The access to the homeless shelter goes back to the concept of an open space whose portico gives a human scale and protects the visitor.
Besides these basic uses, the complex also includes a residence for the sisters. They manage the homeless shelter, headquarters for the institution, and area representative with an assembly hall and a chapel which is a symbol and an attraction within the complex. Their presence is evidenced by clearly recognizable elements as the bell tower and the entrance with orderly and serene architecture.
The entrance is through a secluded and warm space arriving at a magnified space which enhances the symbolism of the place. This, in turn, embraces us by the horizontal line of the wooden plinth which returns it to a human scale.
Padre Rubinos Headquarters Image Gallery
About Elsa Urquijo Architects
Elsa Urquijo Architects is an architecture and interior design firm based in A Coruña since the year 2000. They understand architecture as a continuous quest for simplicity and clarity. The architects are interested in developing an architecture that stimulates the senses beyond sight, through materiality and scale.
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