From the Talayotic Culture to the photovoltaic park on the hospital roof

The Island of Menorca, in the spanish autonomous region of the Balearic Islands with a coastline of 216 kilometers – from rocky beaches to sandy coves, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation. And a population of a bit more than 91,000 inhabitants.

On a scouting trip for a digital nomad project my interest for hospitals popped up too. I didn’t took long to discover the Hospital Mateu Orfila (public general hospital) in Maó, the island’s capital.

mateu orfila entrance

Some facts at a glance
– Health System – 1 general hospital and 5 health centers
– Doors opened in April 2007, 2’500 m2
– 142 beds and 7 beds in intensive care unit (46 single rooms)
– 5 operating theatres
– About 700 employees
– 35 specialized medical consultations
– Day hospital, emergency and rehabilitation services
Challenge: maintaining a stable workforce
Mateu Orfila Emergency    Mateu Orfila_outside

Architectural details by arquitectos GS, Madrid:
– The hospital is a series of linear blocks joined longitudinally
– Main façade is a tensile mesh of stainless steel as a sunscreen to provide character to the building
– 1st floor with large windows
– The solutions adopted for the hospital are generally economic, but of high efficiency, both functional and mechanical

hospital-Mateu_architecture  otfal_hospital-mateu-orfila
mateu orfila glass2  mateu orfila inside

The hospital also provides a fitness center and a conference room as well as solar cells on the roof* – all in all quite an intense equipment by the Govern de les Illes Baleares, Àrea de Salut de Menorca.
room_mateu orfila  room2_mateu orfila
operating theatre_mateu orfila

* The photovoltaic park on the roof: about 4’700 m2 of plates – a 392-kilowatt installation generating 590’000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year – equivalent to the consumption of 175 homes / this solar power generates 9% of the hospital energy saving 45’000 Euros a year and avoiding the emission of up to 600’000 tons of CO2 per panel_mateu orfila

Hospitals on an island, island healthcare, remote healthcare. An area of incredible investments and often stunning innovation. Even if Digital Health is on the rise the stable workforce is a challenge for this kind of hospitals. I am full of respect for all these employees, the government and the partners to support these very important centers of healthcare. Well done, Menorca.

Now to the Talayotic Culture
We talk about an exceptional heritage (earliest traces of human occupation date from 2100 B.C) – 1,574 archaeological sites inventoried on its 700m2 of surface area, in the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Some pieces of impressive history not to be missed. To have a look at it, choose the Talayotic Route of Menorca – to discover icons ie. the megalithic monument of the Naveta de Tudons – an even «pre-talayotic» funeral building named after «little boat» (naveta) in Catalan – the building looks like an upside-down boat. Long before the hospital building of Mateu Orfila.naveta des tudons

Maurice Codourey





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