La Milagrosa Community
Designer: Claudia Celeste Cintrón
Instructor: Francisco Gutiérrez
Project/Date: BED / May 2011
TOS[er]: Nitza Y. Ayala Fontánez
Posted: May 2013
- SIERRA CARDONA FERRER ARCHITECTS COMPETITION for Center for the Elderly
- To create facilities for the Senior Citizens in the heart of Río Piedras.
- Contribute to the life of the elderly by creating a reachable community for them.
- Improve the existing site conditions with an attainable design.
- 40 third-year design students participated
- 8 finalists
- 3 top places
- Competition Winner: La Milagrosa Community
- Presented at SCF Architects
- Won Honor Award on the Student Work Category on AIA Puerto Rico Honor Awards 2011
- Mentioned by Architect Alberto Ferrer in the article “8th SCF-UPR Design Competition: Elderly Center in Río Piedras, PR” published at the SCF website on June 27, 2011.
- Maintains most of original structure that previously served as school and hospital.
- Continues the existent cloister typology to create the design.
- Creates patios to connect plazas and to continue smoothly the circulation path.
- Reflects the different heights and densities of Río Piedras buildings.
- Inside, visually links the existing neighbor church with the marketplace.
- Includes four cloisters: one existent, three new; each accommodates a different program, such as a recreational component, commercial component, and medical component.
- Offers a complete service for the elderly; from fully equipped rooms to medical offices, library, and pool.
TOS[er] Reaction: La Milagrosa Community for the elderly is an excellent opportunity to rehabilitate an abandoned building that in its lifetime has contributed positively to the development of society in Río Piedras. In 2009, La Milagrosa Private School closed its doors to let this historical monument left to decay alone. Claudia’s proposal takes the original cloister of the Private School and preserves it to accommodate the medical facilities. As in 1996, when the building was used as a hospital for those hurt at the Humberto Vidal Store Explosion, it recognizes its own history serving as a help center. Its plazas and patios create a trajectory throughout the whole site that connects all sides of the block. La Milagrosa Community ignites a light in Rio Piedras for senior citizens while it offers everything at one place. At the same time, the urban design proposes public plazas that welcome users from all ages, allowing this Community to become a dynamic exchange space. Continued citizens movement, day and night, might improve the town’s neighbor relations and lifestyle around this area. Claudia’s design strategy of cloistered spaces prove her intervention to be assertive for it allows an intersection of the uses, the circulation flows, and it opens up a window for further development.