The 43,000-square-foot plot is located in the southeast area of Cuenca, in a well-consolidated area away from the urban expansion of the city, with many single-family houses. It is included in the Urban Partial Plan that was developed according to a grid-based layout and a closed block urban typology. Considering that the purpose of the project was to design a building of 170,000 square feet, the plot is small compared to the program of uses that it was required to include.
A double program required the inclusion of a health care center as well as the Primary Health Care administrative building and the Provincial Benefits Office. The program has been resolved by designing two independent buildings, one for each use. The administrative building has been located in the upper part of the plot, with the pedestrian access from the Música Española Avenue, so it is easily identifiable. The administrative building intends to be an emblematic reference of the SESCAM in the city and the most singular building in a high residential density urban area.
The administrative building is composed of two main pieces, generating an architectural dialogue between them. The first one, the access piece, is a single-height building and is configured as a large opening. It has a permeable scale that invites you to enter. However, the second one is more hermetic and has a larger, urban scale that works as an element of reference. This medium size tower gives to the whole project a higher expressive strength and organizes it in four floors around a courtyard.
The health care center has been located in the lower part of the plot. A spatial dialogue between the two buildings has been proposed so the points of access were resolved and the functional independence was kept while still responding to the neighborhood. Two independent garages have been proposed, their accesses located in the semi-basement floor so that entrance and exit ramps are not necessary. The pedestrian access to the Health Care Center has been proposed through the Río Mariana Street. Access to the Emergency Department is from the Río Mira Street, keeping in mind a need for easy ambulance access as well as an appropriate clearance height for them. The goods access is through a street located between the two buildings, taking advantage of the existing uneven ground. The access by motor-driven vehicles is made from the Rio Turia Street.The emergency department is located in the surgical area and the residence is located on the ground floor, with direct access from the street through a covered porch that permits ambulance access.
The layout of the health care center is based on several pavilions organized around two courtyards located on the ground floor. Access to the public area is located at the back, next to the vertical communication nucleus. The medical pavilion is easily accessible from the emergency area and occupies an independent position from the main circulation of the building. The cleaning rooms, installation rooms, and storage have been placed in the semi-basement floor. Access to these areas is created from the open street that is composed by the GAP/OPP building and the Health Care Center. The pavilion that houses the general practice rooms and nursery has been designed on the first floor. The entrance pavilion was designed with a dual purpose: to treat the citizens with kindness and represent the power of public services. It has a human scale and is set back 16 feet, close to the building in height. In the entrance pavilion there is also the main lobby, the reception area, file storage, and the conference hall, as well as the toilets and the waiting area.
The facade of the building is surrounded by a skin made of slats that fulfills a double function; climatic and lighting control. The slats are adjustable so they can work properly, independent of the season or the orientation. Behind those slats a second skin has been placed with storage capacity and large modulated panes of glass that offer multiple choices of inner redistribution, without affecting the building operation.