Much has been said and written about the importance of play for children’s development and learning. Now is the time to flag up the role of play in children’s healing process. By providing the possibility of play, we are contributing to the child’s socialisation and the acquisition of psychological and psychomotor abilities and skills, as well as a positive type of distraction that will enable them to forget about their sickness for the period of time spent at play.
The paediatric area of Hospital Getafe is in need of a play-zone for children aged between 3 and 9. It has allocated one of the hospital’s terraces for this purpose. Since the terrace is north-facing it is shadowy and may not seem very suitable for an outside play-zone: in winter the sun never reaches it, whereas in summer the high temperatures will preclude outside play. Additionally, the space is surrounded by high walls, making it appear unwelcoming and even oppressive.
The proposal is to build an outside play pavilion on the terrace. The effect will be a bubble of colours, which will be attractive to children, breaking with the main building’s hospital appearance by its shape and the materials used.
This pavilion is light and bright, with light outside walls of double sheets of insulating polycarbonate, lit at the perimeters with RGB system lighting which enables changes of colour. Inside, the zones for play, rest, reading and multimedia for the children and their families will be delineated by different furnishings and floor colours. Outside the pavilion is a covered zone with rubber flooring, plant-pots and children’s furniture, so that when the weather permits they can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.