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Monday, August 14, 2006

Adequate mixing of old and new.


In the public Hospital where I work (650 beds), the patients have 2 states of spirit according to where they go. If they lodge in the modern Surgery hospitalization environments, where each room lodges 2-6 patients, has individualized sanitary services, clean and adequate distributed spaces, the things go well. If on the contrary the patient is lodged in one of the 6 large rooms of internal medicine, the things are not so pleasant. There the patients are arranged collectively in groups of 40 by room, without dividing walls, each patient seeing (at times sharing), everything that does the patient of the side, a notorious inconvenience. Here the baths are common and the possibility exists to acquire intrahospital illnesses, by obvious reasons. The hospital was built in 1875, being adjusted to French canons. Past and present, 2 forms to see the things, one unjust and another more fair and modern, barely some meters beyond. When one ask why the rooms of medicine are not renovated, adapting them to the modern style of surgical rooms, the hospital authorities said that the National Institute of Culture (NIC), that watches by the preservation of our cultural historic legacy (with obvious disdain by the needs of the patients), has vetoed any modernization. For us that is antiquity and delay, because in other countries is preserved the old facade modernizing all the interior thing, in an act of coexistence, that satisfies to all, offering health, security and comfort to the patients.

To this paradox do not escape extrahospital areas of our country. Exist in Lima, infinity of little stores (spaces of 5x 6 square meters in which products of high need are sold), conditioned in any place -included homemade spaces- it not mattering a lot of the esthetics. Nevertheless, in the last 15 years it have begun to appear in Lima and some important provinces: mall stores (spaces of 100 x 100 m2), in which are sold infinity of products, with but care, but hygiene and accessible prices to all. Besides it, 2 years ago appeared in Lima, another novelty: The Jockey Plaza Center, a commercial conglomerate where besides selling almost all, they swarm centers of diversion and entertainment. A concept that travels all the world and now threatens to engulf important commercial areas of Peru. On weekwend you can go shopping with all the family and remain there among 6-8 hours.

Because of it, it seems us adequate to comment an article appeared yesterday in the NYTimes, where certain successful initiative of one American architect (Benjamin Wood), in the communist China is related. It so happens that in 2003, authorities of the downtown of Shangai put out to bid the construction of spaces for positions of sales in the center of Shangai where themselves remained according to ancient French’s houses models built in 1860. The houses that lodged positions of old sale, exhibited large irregular interior backyards. Some architects offered to collapse or fusion the interior backyards leaving the remainder of the condominium without fixing, persisting the old model. Wood (58), gained the tender because he applied a different idea: instead to conserve buildings or old facades, he imposed his concept of building 2 modern blocks, destined to lodge cafes, boutique, movies clubs, restaurants inserting in them old bricks and stone gates -that is to say- stores of sales associated to multiples amusement. The stores opened since 2004, have been a commercial boom throughout China, that has enough money. The concepts and buildings of Wood, have multiplied for several Chinese cities, with merchants that ask the model of Xin Tian Di of Shangai, very similar to the local, Jockey Plaza Shooping Center. Before the critics of to be overshadowing the historic heritage of China, Wood has responded assuring that what is important is not to have old empty buildings, but those which have life and satisfy the needs of the people that populate or inhabit them. However Wood, who is not deaf has began to add pagoda type ceilings, artificial lakes, Chinese paths of the century XIII, interconnected bridges and trellis of carved wood excavated, to many of his projects by crystallizing, in Hangzhou, Zhujiajiao, Wuhan, Chungking, Shangri-La, etc.

Mezclas apropiadas de lo Viejo con lo Nuevo.

En el Hospital público donde laboro (650 camas), los pacientes disponen de 2 estados de ánimo según donde se internen. Si se alojan en los modernos ambientes de hospitalización de Cirugía, donde c/ sala aloja 2-6 pacientes, dispone de servicios higiénicos individualizados, limpios y espacios adecuadamente distribuidos, las cosas van bien. Si por el contrario son internados en una de las 6 salas de Medicina Interna, las cosas no son tan agradables. Alli, son dispuestos colectivamente en grupos de 40 por sala, sin muros divisorios, c/ paciente viendo (a veces compartiendo), todo lo que hace el paciente del costado, con incomodidad notoria. Aquí los baños son comunes y existe la posibilidad de adquirir enfermedades intrahospitalarias, por razones obvias. El hospital fué construido en 1875, ajustandose a cánones franceses. Pasado y presente, 2 formas de ver las cosas, una injusta y otra más comoda y moderna, apenas unos metros más allá. Cuando uno pregunta porque las salas de medicina no son refaccionadas adecuándolas al moderno estilo de las salas quirúrgicas, las autoridades hospitalarias arguyen que el Instituto Nacional de Cultura (INC), que vela por la preservación de nuestro patrimonio histórico cultural (con obvio desdén por las necesidades de los pacientes), ha vetado cualquier modernización. Para nosotros eso es antigüedad y atraso, porque en otros paises se preserva la fachada antigua modernizando lo interior, en un acto de coexistencia, que satisface a todos :brindando salud, seguridad y comodidad a los pacientes.

A esta paradoja no escapan areas extrahospitalarias, de nuestro pais. Existen en Lima, infinidad de tiendas (espacios de 5x 6 metros cuadrados en los que se venden productos de alta necesidad), acondicionados en cualquier lugar -incluidos espacios caseros- no importando mucho la estética. No obstante, en los últimos 15 años han empezado a aparecer en Lima y algunas provincias importantes: mall stores (espacios de 100 x 100 m2), donde se venden infinidad de productos, con mas cuidado, mas higiene y precios asequibles. Es más, hace 2 años apareció en Lima, otra novedad : el Jockey Plaza Shoopping Center, un conglomerado comercial donde además de vender casi todo, pululan centros de diversión y entretenimiento. Un concepto que recorre el mundo y ahora amenaza englobar areas comerciales importantes del Peru. Vas de compras un fin de semana con toda la familia y te quedas alli entre 6-8 horas.

Por todo lo anterior, nos parece adecuado comentar un articulo aparecido ayer en el NYTimes, donde se relata cierta iniciativa exitosa de un arquitecto norteamericano (Benjamín Word), en la China comunista. Resulta que en el 2003, autoridades del downtown de Shangai licitaron la construcción de espacios para puestos de ventas en el centro de Shangai donde se erigian hasta entonces vetustos modelos de casas francesas construidas en 1860. Las casas que alojaban puestos de venta antiguos, exhibian grandes patios interiores irregulares. Algunos arquitectos interesados plantearon la eliminación de los patios interiores, con el resto del condominio sin arreglar, persistiendo el modelo antiguo. Wood (58), ganó la licitación porque aplicó un concepto distinto : mas que conservar edificios o fachadas antiguas, impuso su concepto de remodelación y construccion de 2 edificios modernos, destinados a alojar puestos para cafes, boutiques, cine clubs, restaurantes -es decir- tiendas de ventas asociadas a multiples diversiones. Las tiendas abiertas desde el 2004, han sido un boom comercial a lo largo de una China que tiene dinero. Los conceptos y edificaciones de Wood, se han multiplicado por varias ciudades chinas, con comerciantes que piden el modelo Xin Tian Di de Shangai, semejante al Jockey Plaza Center, local. Ante las criticas de estar oscureciendo el patrimonio historico chino, Wood ha respondido asegurando que lo importante no es disponer de modelos antiguos vacios, sino que los edificios tengan vida y satisfagan las necesidades de las personas que las pueblan o, habitan. Empero Wood, que no es sordo ha empezado a agregar techos tipo pagoda, lagos artificiales, caminitos chinos del siglo XIII, puentes interconectados y limitantes de madera excavada, a muchos de su proyectos por cristalizar, en Hangzhou, Zhujiajiao, Wuhan, Chongking, Shangi-La, etc.

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