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Centre for Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Shkodra, Albania
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Known as the Psychiatric Hospital of Shkodra, the ensemble was designed in 1982 by the architects Agim Myftiu and Mergim Cano and is located in the hospital areas in the north-eastern part of the city. The floor plan has the shape of a cross, with continuous staggered surfaces on the external perimeter but also in its interior spaces. The space is triggered based on a repeated module consisting of one room accommodating four patients. Window openings that allow natural light to enter the interior space are placed near the corners of the staggered volumes, creating a unique atmosphere and an aspect different from that of conventional hospitals, supporting the recovery process of the patients. This particular way of staggering the facade opens new possibilities for the architectural composition of health-care facilities. The service block, developed as a strict volume, is a separate unit positioned on one side of the ensemble with a corridor connecting the two spaces.

The main entrance placed in the centre of the volume and several service entrances for the medical and administrative staff offer direct access to the various units. As far as vertical communication is concerned, apart from the main block of stairs in the service unit area, all floors which accommodate patients are connected with stairs that are developed in free-standing transparent cylindrical glass volumes. In the basement, apart from the heating and cooling systems, also an underground refuge was built, a measure that was commonly taken during the dictatorship period to provide civilians with protection in case of attack. In the ground floor, spaces such as the administration, lavatory, kitchen and visiting area area located. The first, second and third floor are developed in a typical way, with rooms for patients and common spaces for dining. The fourth and last floor accommodates the office for medical personnel, the physiotherapy unit, the library and tech meeting rooms. The meeting rooms are arranged around an inner courtyard, that for reasons of security is only open towards the top, creating depth and communication between inside and outside.