The idea behind the new Comprehensive Transplant Centre in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) is to establish a highly functional, efficient centre, but above all to create city. The new building has to be permeable and serve as a connection. The project occupies a site on the edge of the University Hospital Complex, a historical site in a consolidated area of the city. The immediate environment comprises a mix of low-rise buildings and emblematic green areas such as the Botanical Garden.
In this context, the new building strengthens its position with a double-height porch that responds to the adjoining cornices and connects with the existing Cartesian grid by means of the composition of various squares. Two elongated volumes, perpendicular to each other, extend from this platform to house the variety of uses necessary for the functioning of the new transplant centre. To reduce the impact of these prisms on the environment, fragmented façades with galleries allow views of the landscape. The main objective of the urban planning, required by the competition, is to generate changes in the landscape and create additional levels of interaction within the hospital complex.
The first phase involves remodelling the technical infrastructure, parking areas and paths, and the careful demolition of additions to the historical buildings. The second phase includes restoration of the gardens and the historical composition, based on the garden city model, as well as seeking to limit vehicular use of the site. As regards the urban structure, the existing stepped connection between the green terraces of the setting is extended to the transparent lobby of the new hospital, the meeting point of interests, circulations and views: the agora of the composition. In addition, a street is constructed in the new hospital that is the product of the intersection of the Cardo and the Decumanus in the surrounding area, connecting the complex’s main entrance with the squares planned as intermediate spaces and links with the built environment.
The project sets out to create a healing environment, where natural light and biophilia are fundamental in the design. This concept points to the positive impact of nature on the recovery of patients, so public areas, patient rooms, recovery rooms and spaces for staff are all open and in direct contact with natural light and vegetation. Further, a system of skylights and inner courtyards ensures the presence of nature and lighting in underground hospital areas such as operating rooms, emergency areas and laboratories.
In terms of the general configuration of the hospital, the operating rooms, with advanced diagnostic and treatment facilities, the logistics areas and medical supplies are organized on the basement floors. The ground floor is occupied by public areas, the outpatients’ clinic, administration and research; and the upper floors by hospitalization units and specific recovery rooms for transplant patients.