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Arch sample santiago alvarez sp22 section(3)

When Nurses become Patients

Who takes care of our caretakers?

This project prioritizes members of society who are often overlooked yet fulfill an essential role in our community: providing care and keeping its citizens healthy.

Architecture can create spaces conducive to better health outcomes, foster community engagement, and move beyond the sterile nature of health institutions, presenting a more caring and welcoming alternative.

The program is conceptualized through Maslow’s pyramid, which points to physiological, psychological, and self-fulfillment needs. The spaces are arranged linearly: first, mental health, then clinical care, and an in-between buffer space for community engagement, gathering, and leisure. Group spaces for psychotherapy are oriented towards the back and individual clinics towards the front for convenient access.

The massing is sliced to separate the volume into three components to differentiate the interior program from the outside. The space at the bottom becomes clinics for nurses, the larger mid-portion is allocated for housing, and the top volume is articulated into a saw-tooth roof. In addition, the larger mid-volume shifts upward to allow skylights to maximize natural light intake for the clinics on the ground floor.