A Cutting-Edge Research Centre and Teaching Hospital
James Gowan, Renato Restelli
In the late 1980s, a meeting between Professor Nicola Dioguardi, a world authority on liver disease research, and a group of businessmen headed by Techint group chairman Gianfelice Rocca gave rise to the idea of founding an efficient and modern hospital at Rozzano, just outside Milan, that would place the doctor-patient relationship at the centre of its vision. Over the next few years this idea led to the construction of the main hospital belonging to the Humanitas group, which has a further four clinics in Italy (Humanitas Gavazzeni in Bergamo, Clinica Fornaca in Sessant, Clinica Cellini in Turin and Humanitas Centro Catanese d’Oncologia in Catania).
The project was launched in 1989 and was assigned to Scottish architect James Gowan, former partner of James Stirling with whom he designed the Engineering department of the University of Leicester, long considered the most original work built in the UK in the post Second World War period.
The Istituto Clinico Humanitas in Rozzano is today a highly specialised hospital recognised as an IRCCS (Scientific institute for treatment and inpatient care). The hospital complex covers an area of more than 60,000 square metres devoted to treatment and inpatient care, surrounded by 50,000 square metre grounds. It consists of a main building which houses the services area and wards, the emergency department and the research, education and rehabilitation centre, created in 2007.
The research and education centre is fully integrated with the hospital and extends over an area of 20,000 square metres. It has a total of 30 laboratories staffed by 300 Italian and international researchers, along with 500-seat conference halls, 14 classrooms for 400 students attending the degree course in Medicine and Surgery, Biotechnologies and Nursing at the University of Milan and spaces for rehabilitation.
The Centre was likewise designed by James Gowan together with Renato Restelli, Luigi Colombo and Mario Guarnaccia, while Ilaria Dell’Acqua and Franco Raggi were responsible for the interior design. Its architecture stands out for a combination of simple and clearly defined vertical and horizontal volumes with different shapes and sizes. The façade claddings use a technology based on a simple, effective and well-tested solution: ceramic curtain walls. Clad with Pietratech Diamondgres porcelain tiles with a natural rectified finish from Cotto d’Este, the curtain walls on the new structure not only give the centre a strongly contemporary look but also assure low construction costs while reducing the maintenance requirements and contributing to lower energy consumption for heating and cooling the building. In short, the building envelope combines aesthetic qualities with technological and functional characteristics.
Cotto d'Este, Pietratech Diamondgres Series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): <0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): GLA-GHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): PEI 5
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant