Texan Military Hospital By RTKL Features Slatted Sun Shades Based On Skin Grafts

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This military hospital in San Antonio attributes terracotta brise soleils inspired by strips of grafted skin, which shield burns victims from the intense sun .

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

The new San Antonio Military Health-related Center (SAMMC) by architecture and engineering firm RTKL is positioned amongst a larger campus of red brick buildings.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

The 70,000-square-metre campus involves an emergency trauma centre, surgical research unit and a burns treatment ward – a important concern for the architects when contemplating sun protection.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

Over 40 per cent of the facade is covered in glass, so a grill produced from batons of terracotta was devised to shade this portion of the constructing – an concept based mostly on the strips of healthful skin utilised to treat burns victims.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

Throughout skin grafting, surgeons remove thin, healthful skin samples from a donor and perforate and stretch them to form a mesh that enables small samples to cover more substantial places,” explained the architects.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

“Similarly, the brick skin of the existing constructing is reinterpreted in the skin of the new building as a lighter, terracotta mesh sutured onto the new facade,” they continued.


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“The dense screening protects burn sufferers from direct sun exposure even though delivering positive views and breaking down the scale of the exterior with striations of light and shade.”

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

A slatted canopy stands like a giant parasol above the southern facade, additional shading the constructing from the region’s “brutally scorching” sun and generating a massive veranda above the entrance. A helipad found to one particular side of the rooftop allows patients to be quickly transported to and from other facilities.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

Inside, tall stone-lined atriums allow air and light to circulate via the seven storeys, whilst two brick circulation towers rise at both finish of the framework.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

Wards are positioned along the glass facades to give views more than the surrounding landscaping, even though treatment method rooms benefit from more enclosed locations.

A pond dug into the grounds collects rainwater that is utilized to irrigate the gardens, which are planted with native dry-weather species.

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

“The new landscape design produces a a lot-necessary oasis about the new addition,” mentioned the studio. “Composed of drought-resistant native species, it surgically inserts a bit of the South Texas Brush Nation into an otherwise barren military complicated.”

San Antonio Military Medical Hospital by RTKL

The undertaking, which was finished in 2011, was selected as 1 of the Top Ten Green Tasks for 2015 by the American Institute of Architects. With a silver LEED rating, the architects anticipate that in excess of \$219,000 (£140,000) will be saved in power charges per year.

Photography is by Charles Davis Smith.


Project credits:

Venture Proprietor: US Army Corps of Engineers
Submitting Architect: RTKL

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