11. Jan 2016


Light and sky to facilitate healing

Photos: Javier Navarro

The therapeutic pools in San Juan, Puerto Rico are designed as a facility for children between the ages of five and 16 years with physical disabilities. The facilities are open to the public but are primarily used by the pupils at La Esperanza School. The organically shaped building that houses the pools features warm-coloured facades and is located adjacent to the school. One prime goal of the designers, Fuster + Architects, was to create a unique space in which the direct connection between the user and nature facilitates the healing process. In this sense, the protagonists of the space are natural light and the sky.


Every pool is conceived as a courtyard. The ceiling apertures frame the sky, which is important because children receive therapies while floating on their backs, looking upwards. The material used for construction (a structural concrete insulated panel composed of a thermally insulating foam core coated with structural mortar) keeps the space at a comfortable temperature. A section of the cylinder above one of the pools is perforated to generate an additional play of light on the interior walls. Altogether a calming and inspiring place for the children undergoing therapy in the pools.

 Project team:

Client: Municipality of San Juan, Puerto Rico – Carmen Yulín Cruz
Architects: Fuster + Architects – Nataniel Fúster, Heather Crichfield, Sadie Winslow, Santiago Garramuño, José Pagán, Luis R. Albaladejo


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