Hitachino Orthopedic Clinic
The Orthopedic Clinic located in Ushiku city, Ibaraki prefecture, was designed by Matsuyama Architect and Associates. We asked design principle Masakatsu Matsuyama about the project.
Please give us an overview of the project.
Hitachino Orthopedic Clinic was a relocation and new construction project at a large site of approximately 3,300m2, in an area where a new townscape is being formed due to development of a major road running in an east-west direction via Hitachino-Ushiku Station. Commercial establishments are located in the area facing the major road, and quiet residential areas enfold behind them. The site was right on the border of the two areas. For this environment with characteristics of both sides, a 50-car parking lot was planned and architectural consideration was taken. In order to address the tasks, a one-story building with low roof height was planned to harmonize with the surrounding environment in terms of scale. Furthermore, the plan led to different expressions on the north side, facing the major road, and the south side in the residential area.
What was most important for you during the design process?
The exterior design with visibility and symbolic value aimed to give an openness by being recognized and shared by the local people as a scene.
The 54m-wide entrance façade abstractly expressed an appearance of trees, and contained a hidden message for patients at the orthopedic clinic to "resemble enduring trees that keep growing" even under a harsh environment.
What challenges did you face in the project? How did you respond to them?
In consideration of the quiet surrounding residential area, the building was planned to place lower volume on the north, major road side. On the north side, the glass-walled waiting hall and rehabilitation room are open towards the major road, and a water basin and stone garden enhance the impression of the building that opens to the townscape. On the south side, architectural consideration was taken to preserve an excellent living environment through blocking lines of sight, by using a double skin structure with cut aluminum panels.
What did you learn from this project? What will you take from it to future projects?
By carefully interpreting the characteristics of the building site and the environment, we were conscious to achieve an ideal building, which blends in with the surrounding area and is friendly for the patients of the clinic. It mirrored the state of community healthcare, and we believe that the same beliefs can also be utilized for future medical facility designs.
Hitachino Orthopedic Clinic2014
Matsuyama Architect and Associates
Joyo Construction Engineering
Total Floor Area