No one can pass by the new, bright red building of psychiatric centre in the Spanish Zaragoza, without having a closer look. The design by José Javier Gallard of the ///g.bang/// studio creates a new youth facilities connected with the original neuro-psychiatric centre, Nuestra Señora del Carmen, by an underground tunnel. The different pitches of roofs indicate different levels of mental activity that take place in those spaces. The steepest roofs house shared common rooms, the shallow gables shelter individual rooms of patients and staff quarters are located beneath flat roofs. The red powder-coated zinc sheets, which cover the whole facade, are interrupted only by frameless windows.
The historic ideas of strict separation of mental health facilities from the outside world are replaced by walls that can be opened up. A simple rectangular floor plan embodies a noble idea. A hospital – in latin “hospitare” means “to accept as a guest”. While highlighting the importance of groupwork and fellowship with people suffering from mental disorders, it strives for a seamless integration of its patients into society. The red color of the facility intentionally attracts attention and tries to break the prejudice, emphasize social work and, according to the author, makes the structure “more sexy”.