Project Submission for La Paz University Hospital Competition

Healthcare Architecture

  • Hospitals
  • R & D

Adapting an iconic hospital to the city’s future.

La Paz University Hospital, one of the largest medical centers in Spain, is a Madrid icon, especially important nowadays as the city continues its northward expansion. In 2019, they announced their plans for a large and complex renovation project, to be undertaken by the winners of a national competition. Due to our extensive healthcare experience and proven ability to manage large-scale projects, we chose to prepare a submission.


The project we submitted was based upon 3 main ideas. First, we wanted to find a way to convert the old building into a new one without disrupting the hospital´s daily activity. Second, we wished to focus on the connections between the building and its environment, and finally, we aimed to pay homage to the hospital´s original architectural style, including a circular tower that was considered revolutionary at the time of its construction.


Our proposal aimed to maximize project efficiency by reducing and simplifying the phases while maintaining a coherence amongst the construction, budgetary and functional aspects. One of our chief tasks was to strike a harmonious coexistence between the old and new hospital buildings, minimizing any disruption to daily services. To achieve this, we avoided demolitions and partial constructions, first addressing the older General Hospital and always prioritizing the patients´ and staff´s well-being.


La Paz University Hospital is located in an area of northern Madrid that is currently undergoing expansive development; therefore, we proposed the creation of a single public space, encompassing both the medical center and the Five Towers, at the intersection of Sinesio Delgado and the M-30 highway. This space would include a new southern and western access ramp into the city, funneling away the majority of vehicular traffic. We also planned to open up and pedestrianize the avenue-facing entrance and to close the northern side, in order to provide a bit of isolation from the highway.


Our proposed layout consisted of 7 large blocks running north-south, including 2 circulation routes — one internal and one public — around an 8.10 by 8.10 reticule, loosely defining each of the hospital´s basic units. On these bases would be superimposed a hexagonal weave composed of circular vertical nuclei, forming the hospitalization buildings.


The blocks, separated by patios, would be organized by treatment, in order from least complex to most, in order to maximize internal circulation flow. It would begin with the outpatient area, followed by diagnostics, and finally specialized treatments. A large internal corridor would connect the various units, through the use of a supporting axis that unfolded into two different circulation routes, in order to avoid mixing the different circulation flows. The large public vestibule would open up onto both the base and hospitalization units at varying levels, through vertical nuclei. We had conceived this space to include greenery, shops, kiosks, etc, as a sort of indoor street scene in which colors, textures, art and music accompany the user into the hospital.

DATE: Project Submission