WonderLAD: when architecture is part of the cure
reading time: 4 minutes
The dream of the charity LAD Onlus comes true with the Catania house to accommodate child cancer patients
The Cure&Care concept originates from the art therapy studies of Cinzia Favara Scacco, president of the LAD charity: in over twenty years of work, she has gathered information about the needs of children fighting disease.
The method also involves the creation of comfortable, attractive treatment locations, so LAD has always worked to realise "child-sized" places and to draw up guidelines, at the national level, for the psychologists working at Italy's over fifty paediatric oncology centres.
In 2013 LAD came into contact with CasaOz, a charity active since 2005 in outpatient care for young patients suffering from serious diseases, which suggested the replication in Sicily of a day centre project already established in Turin. This led to the idea of building the new "house" with application of the LAD Project method, invented by architect Emilio Randazzo, co-founder of the Catania-based charity with his wife, Cinzia Favara.
Two thousand square metres of beauty, with six studio apartments each sleeping four, with private bathroom and kitchen, overlooking the courtyard and garden: WonderLAD also houses workshops, office and a multi-purpose auditorium seating 300 people.
The project by FrontiniTerrana architects, is inspired by two images: "A comforting embrace and the simple cross-section, with pitched roof, of a house drawn by children, provided the central concepts and aims around which the project evolved.
The WeLAD project is an outstanding work of architecture, which has won sponsorship from the International Union of Architects, the Consiglio Nazionale Architetti P.P.C., the Istituto Nazionale di Bioarchitettura, Federarchitetti, the Sicilian Regional Council, Inarch Sicilia and Inbar.
The energy strategies adopted enable the building to meet the requirements for the nZEB category, with the aim of adopting CasaClima Nature certification.
The wooden structure, left bare on the inside, has been covered with a light-coloured metal cladding on the outer surfaces, except for the entrances and the living area of the house. This external skin not only unifies the building and increases its air of solidity but also provides insulation, since it consists largely of brown cork.
For the system of indoor surfaces, which mediates between different textures, dimensions and colours, always with an extreme focus on contemporary design, an assortment of Marazzi collections proved the ideal choice. The materials chosen for the large expanses of the foyers and internal corridors were the SistemC Città collections, in the Cemento version and Block porcelain stoneware in Beige colour, inspired by resin finishes; both collections are particularly hard-wearing and are ideal for heavily-used locations.
Colour, on the other hand, predominates in the private areas, using the Ecletticacollection oflarge-size wall ceramic wall coverings; an assortment of eight colours, here in the Cream variant, completed by a range of 3D structures, decors, a mosaic and an exquisite metal listel tile, enables the utmost versatility and the creation of a distinctive identity in all the living-spaces of the Catania complex.
Ph Daniele Domenicali