Healthcare architectures

Zaragoza. Spain

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Liang Xin oriental therapy centre

Jaime Magén y Francisco J. Magén

Description Technical file

The new Liang XIn centre in Zaragoza constitutes an exercise of balance in the realm of the real, between abstract and cultural concepts and the necessarily figurative and commercial nature of the establishment, through an architecture that configures a subdued and serene atmosphere seeking to complement the users’ therapeutic experience.
Situated in the very heart of Zaragoza, in the ground floor of a residential building previously occupied by a bus station, the premises where the Liang Xin centre is located has a façade giving on to the street and an interior area that extends to the inner part of the city block.
This project, for the first Liang Xin centre outside Malaysia, proposes an architecture in dark tones based on the twilight and silence of the empty space and the articulation of the interior routes and features different degrees of opacity in the materials. In this regard, the new façade is made entirely from copper. In this case, to its qualities as a natural material that is modified by the passage of time to bring nuances to its initial hues and reflections, we have to add the possibilities of perforating it through the pixelated patterns offered by digital technology. This process integrates into a single material both the graphic identity elements and the images that symbolise the four concepts present in the Liang Xin philosophy since its origins –relaxation, freedom, harmony and generosity, avoiding the superposition of materials and notices commonly found in this type of project.
In this case, the material presence of copper during the day and the integrated lighting that transforms the façade at dusk into a lit reference for the street are the elements that give the centre a degree of visibility from the outside. The small circular perforations in different diameters that sketch out letters and symbols on the copper sheeting are interrupted by two larger perforations that allude to the circular-shaped connotations in oriental culture and Zen art, whose ensō paintings symbolise the concepts of void, universe and tranquillity. The first circle contains a screen with explanatory videos as the sole communication element and the second larger one identifies the entrance porch to the centre.
The interior is dominated by the dark tones of the oxidised copper colour of the paint, the textured vinyl coatings and black-tinted wood, only interrupted by the mirror-like reflections of tinted glass on some of the walls, which provide depth and amplitude in an illusory effect that dilutes the real limits of the space and the subtle reflections of the always subdued light on pictures and objects. The interior design was constrained by almost exclusively having to integrate and reuse indigenous decoration, furniture and lighting elements brought directly on a container from Malaysia. Given the peaceful character of the interior ambiences, the artificial lighting is always in a warm white hue, in the circulation areas through indirect lights installed near the floor.

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Localización Location: Zaragoza. Spain. Arquitectos Architects: Jaime Magén y Francisco J. Magén (Magén Arquitectos). Colaboradores Collaborators: María Tejel y Rebeca Tristán (arquitectas), José Sainz (estructuras) y Rafael González (ingeniero). Promotor Developer: Liang Xin Spa Bhd. Constructora General Contractor: Coanfi S.A. Redacción proyecto Project Draft: 2013. Fecha inicio y finalización de la obra Start and completion date of the works: 2013-2014. Superficie construida Built area: 382,02m2. Fotografía Photography: Pedro Pegenaute.
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