Customized design and architectural knowledge for the new surgical and emergency center of San Raffaele in Milan: Schüco aluminum windows for the project by Mario Cucinella Architects

For the new surgical and emergency center of the San Raffaele in Milan, designed by Mario Cucinella Architects (window fabricator partner: Aza Aghito Zambonini - structural project: Ballardini Studio di Ingegneria) with the aim of "treating" not only patients, but ( through the choice of sustainable and architecturally important solutions) also the environment, an important tool in the healing process, a state-of-the-art structure was designed, responding to the principles of humanization of hospital spaces.

The Iceberg of health

Nicknamed Iceberg for its characteristic shape, the new 40,000 square meters building rises in height and consists of two complementary elements in function and aesthetics: the technical plate that houses the most important hospital functions (surgical block, intensive care and ready rescue) and the tower where inpatient departments, medical offices and clinics are located. The entire complex develops in a curved plan: the technical slab, with a single level above the ground level, is designed to ensure flexibility of activities and ensure immediate accessibility to the paths; the tower is welcoming and sinuous, a reference point that accompanies users with the light of the facades and the lightness of the volume.

The external facades

Characterized by a building envelope entirely covered in glass, the new pole presents a tight scan of the elevations with a slight curvature, which varies along the entire perimeter: in this way, the external view is differentiated from the hospital rooms and the contribution is maximized. of natural light in the central part of the facade. Another characterizing element are the large glass surfaces at the corners of the building, where common living rooms have been created for hospital stays. At full height, vertical sunshades have a double bioclimatic function.

Schüco's role

A thousand hours of design by Schüco specialized technicians; 110 hours of tests in the testing laboratory of the Padua branch; 41 new codes created. These are the numbers of Schüco Italia's commitment during the project implementation phases: from the feasibility study, to processing, to support for the window maker and assistance for the actual implementation of customized aluminum systems. “Personally I think this was one of the most interesting projects ever followed”, explains Nicola Pasquetti, Head of Custom Engineering at Schüco Italia. "We have supported Aza, our partner in window fabrication, from all points of view: from laboratory tests to assistance in the workshop, with a huge commitment from the whole team. Suffice it to say that the processing tables and the technical sheets for the installation of the windows and doors have been provided in full ".

A challenging project

Special solutions have solved the challenge of building verticality and the development of facade systems capable of ensuring coplanarity, including curves, high air and water tightness performance and support for external sunshade blades. “Even from an engineering point of view, the project was challenging” continues Pasquetti. “First in the whole Schüco Group, we used a new design software that minimized the margin of error”. The pushed customization process focused on the aluminum system for glass and paneled cell facades headed at 90 °, with vision glass glued to the mullions and transoms, which "masks" the internal and external aluminum profiles, designed ad hoc to allow the "all glass" effect.

A custom system

The Schüco system lends itself to the maximum possibility of customization also thanks to the integration with different materials and functional components. Inside the cells there is in this case a paneled opening with door opening and SimplySmart retractable equipment. The spandrel mirrors and the glass in the vision area are all aligned to obtain a single surface, both internally and externally. The cells are sized to allow the insertion of full-height vertical sunshade blades, ranging in size from 500 to 800 mm in depth.

Photo credits: Duccio Malagamba - Courtesy of Mario Cucinella Architects