Architecture for Nuclear Medicine at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital
Advances in research and technology over the last century have made it possible to develop innovative therapies and treatments that have led to an unprecedented evolution in the field of medicine. One of the specialties that is becoming indispensable, both for the diagnosis and treatment of different diseases, is nuclear medicine, a discipline that uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers that are usually either injected into the bloodstream, inhaled or swallowed. Nuclear medicine provides unique information that generally cannot be obtained using other imaging procedures, and offers the possibility of identifying and treating diseases, sometimes less invasively than other procedures. AT ENERO Arquitectura we are particularly involved in this specialty, having carried out two important projects in this field: the first Proton Therapy Centre in Spain, which we discussed in this post, and the nuclear medicine area of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital, which was integrated within the framework of the master plan for the comprehensive remodelling of the centre developed by our studio, and has been underway since 2009.
Architecture for nuclear medicine
Nuclear medicine area of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital
For the new nuclear medicine area of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital, one of the biggest challenges was the adaptation and reinforcement of a 1950s building to the needs of an area that, due to its functionality, had to be completely insulated with lead casing. In addition, we had to integrate 3 pieces of state-of-the-art electromedical equipment that required a highly complex, millimetric installation system. This area has a total of 560m2 which includes both the unit itself and the patient circulation spaces. The project consists of two main areas:
- The ‘cold’ area: general waiting rooms, patient admissions, work and report preparation areas for doctors, and an office/consultation room for the departmental head.
- The ‘hot’ area: diagnostic areas (PET-TC, SPECT-TC and control rooms); pre-test patient waiting rooms, comprising 5 boxes and 4 dressing rooms; a waiting room with toilets and the dose preparation room called ‘Gammateca’, with its own space for patient preparation.
Aspects considered in designing the architecture for nuclear medicine
The integration of this equipment required millimetric precision on site in order to fit the parts into areas with very low ceilings. In addition, the reinforcement structures for the renovation had to support the lead necessary for the insulation of the equipment. The sterilisation space on the lower floor had to be reinforced from above to ensure the distribution of the new load on the structure.
ENERO at the forefront of nuclear medicine architecture
Encouraging the humanisation of hospital spaces is an effort that ENERO Arquitectura has been developing over the years. Adapting this vital characteristic to the architecture of each space has been a challenge. Designing a space where the architecture for nuclear medicine combines with providing pleasant environments that contribute to maintaining the wellbeing of patients has been a challenge that ENERO has successfully met.
This is a premise that is present in the development of all spaces that make up the healthcare centres developed by the studio, where the user is the focal point of our work.
You can find out more about the preservation of the architectural heritage of the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital in the following note.