KÁLIDA SANT PAU CENTRE – Part of Maggie’s Centre Network

practical info

Category Collective Places
Studio: Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (Barcelona, Spain)
Authors: Benedetta Tagliabue, Joan Callís
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Program: Community development and social welfare, Health facilities, Landscape,
State: New construction
Image credits: Duccio Malagamba

visual material

general aspects

Kálida Sant Pau Centre, is a building part of Maggie’s Centres program, dedicated to the development of spaces for the caring of cancer patients, next to existing hospitals, offering free emotional and practical support. It is integrated into the Art Nouveau complex of Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, designed by architect Domènech i Montaner.

The project includes a two-story building of 400 m2 and a wide garden within the general green area of the building complex. The fundamental idea was to design a garden pavilion where the boundaries between interior and exterior blur and vary, offering privacy, light, retreat, and protection around the garden.

The ground floor (200m2) is situated at a lower level than the complex around. It is conceived as a sequence of flexible spaces, opened to a garden protected by walls, pergolas, and vegetation that can accommodate varied activities. We can find the kitchen, a hall, and a high ceiling dining room, a small library, and a multipurpose room. Every room is surrounded by greenery, and the situation of the patios, trees, and pergolas is meant to hide the surrounding hospital facilities and to respect the privacy of the users. The main access to the building, has a direct connection to the oncology area of the nearby hospital through a paved area between them.

The rooms on the first floor (200m2), situated at the same height that the rest of the complex, lay around the double-height over the dining room. The façades facing the Art Nouveau buildings towards the south are more transparent but protected by wooden blinds to ensure privacy. The building façade is a brick wall with glazed ceramic insertions, put together in a variable composition of colours and textures. The wall turns into a ceramic latticework to filter the sunlight, to focus the views of the environment, to provide air circulation, and to protect the privacy of inner spaces.

about the category

Kálida Sant Pau Centre has a sensitive design, conceived to embrace, to accompany and to improve the life of people with cancer. This small building has a great scope: to create a healing architecture.

The centre is a space of emotional, social and practical support for cancer patients and people around them. It is a home opened to everyone, where qualified professionals offer their help. A house to meet other people, a house where to find a quiet retreat or to have a cup of tea.

The project develops the therapeutic and psychological dimension of the architecture integrated in landscape, to support the communities and to generate common spaces where to share their emotions and experiences. The main objective of the project is to improve the life quality of the patients and their close families. The architect Benedetta Tagliabue has poured out her own experience in the design of the building, after living directly the disease process of Enric Miralles her life and working partner.