Repurposing of the Complex of Utility Buildings for Occupational and  Working Therapies, Clinical  Psychiatric Hospital, Vrapče, Zagreb
Stručni rad
Repurposing of the Complex of Utility Buildings for Occupational and  Working Therapies, Clinical  Psychiatric Hospital, Vrapče, Zagreb
Repurposing of the Complex of Utility Buildings for Occupational and  Working Therapies, Clinical  Psychiatric Hospital, Vrapče, Zagreb
Repurposing of the Complex of Utility Buildings for Occupational and  Working Therapies, Clinical  Psychiatric Hospital, Vrapče, Zagreb

Repurposing of the Complex of Utility Buildings for Occupational and Working Therapies, Clinical Psychiatric Hospital, Vrapče, Zagreb

Gordana Žaja Autor: Gordana Žaja
The spatial and architectonic context of psychiatry and mental illnesses is in many ways related to forming new hospital models and new methods in the medical field. The response of modern medical science and modern architecture is designing and creating alternative spaces, regardless if they are curative, therapeutic or accommodation forms.
The focus needs to encompass:
1. Examination of psychiatric spaces and possibilities of their transformation as well as integration in the social environment, and
2. Awareness that the built spaces and the manner of their usage is an important formative factor in the change in the manner of care and curing psychiatric patients.
The clinical psychiatric hospital Vrapče is the biggest and oldest psychiatric institutions, with 130 years-long tradition and the only one that was built exclusively for psychiatric patients. The main building and the pavilions were designed in 1879 by the architect Kuno Waidmann for some 300 patients. The number of the patients soon increased to over 1000 which resulted in construction of several additional pavilions and secondary buildings. The hospital was designed according to the standards of that time, but soon a need for change occurred, a need for decrease in the number of patients per room, for raising the level of sanitary standard and for forming additional therapeutic contents.

Along with continuing ‘modernization’ of the hospital departments, different analyses are being conducted and options are sought in order to transform the purpose of certain spaces and in order to create new units which would, through certain ‘community health’ identity, assist the integration of the institution and the patients into the society. In that purpose, the northeastern part of the complex, along the external entrance from the area of Gornje Vrapče, a new gallery was built, containing a smaller space for art workshops ‘Slava Raškaj’ (author D. Juračić, 2009) and a new chapel (author B. Magaš, 2010) with external entrance from the area of Gornje Vrapče. On that trajectory, there is also a complex of outhouses, constructed in 1900 in traditional style, made of bricks, with open ground floor and ceiling space anticipated for drying collect brushwood. The patients used to create baskets as part of their working therapies, and today, although these outhouses are in particularly bad condition, they are used for various hospital workshops.

The main design from 2010 anticipated change in purpose for the entire complex of outhouses into spaces for occupational and working therapies (statuary atelier, carpenter's workshops, gathering space – arrangement of the square within the complex).
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