2012 · Catalunya

Research Institute of the “Sant Pau Hospital”

Exterior Volume

– Two massive volumes are proposed, with very clear geometries, rising above the public space and highlighting the institutionalism of the buildings.
– The transparency of the ground floors makes the environment seem closer and the entrances to this new facility become more evident.
Facade treatment
– A technological ceramic skin will be placed, with continuous perforations and the same colour range as the Domènech i Montaner historical pavilions.
– The different orientations of the facades are solved with different positioning of the skin pieces, in order to provide the greatest solar protection and ensure visual permeability between indoor spaces and, at the same time, provide privacy.
Functionality and Distribution
We carefully studied the relationships between different functions, in order to place them in the optimal positions, according to the following points of view:
– The most frequent routes must be the shortest ones.
– Minimize the connections in corridors.
– Provide spacious areas of interaction scattered throughout the building, well lit and allowing meetings between small groups of people.
– Fulfil the separation of incompatible routes (public-private, clean-dirty…)
– Provide flexible areas, ready to become meeting points, training classrooms…
These criteria have permitted to optimize the relationship between floor space and floor area, to the point of having less floor area than expected and providing more floor space than demanded.
Maximum Energy Efficiency
The buildings for the Sant Pau Research Centre are designed to achieve maximum energy efficiency, taking into account the life span of its components and reducing the emissions and maintenance costs, all that with high comfort standards.

The following strategies have been taken into consideration:
– Reduction of energy and materials during the construction process.
– Use of dismantled and recyclable elements in construction.
– Energy demand reduction by improving the passive performance of buildings.
– Energy demand reduction through natural air conditioning systems.
Those eco-efficiency strategies can save 62% of energy consumption (kWh), compared to a reference building done with the same legislation. The ratio of consumption is reduced from 160 kWh /m2 to 56 kWh/m2 per year. CO2 emissions will be a reduced 62% over the reference building (31,5 kg CO2/m2 per year).
At the top of the building an installation of photovoltaic panels will be placed to produce electric energy for heat and cold production (estimated 31% of total consumption). This will provide no consumption of energy for heating and air conditioning.
Therefore, regarding the objective of the European Commission for 2020 of 20/20/20 savings (energy, CO2 and renewable energy production) in those buildings the ratios are 62/62/31, without increasing the expected cost of the buildings.
At the same time, the project will be in perfect conditions for a good LEED certification, applying for gold grade (obtaining at least 64 of the 110 possible points).

COAUTHORS: Pich-Aguilera Architects

– First Prize in the competition for drafting the project and managing the construction of the new Research Institute’s buildings of the “Santa Creu and Sant Pau” Hospital in Barcelona. In collaboration with Pich-Aguilera Architects.


“Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau”, Barcelona


Fundació privada “Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau”


28.152 m2

Project date


Work period