Rua da Saúde Glass Roof, Brazil

This roof arches over the hospital complex's courtyard, comprised of 1647 glass panels.

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Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Porto Alegre oversees a complex of hospital buildings, forming an internal street known as “Rua da Saúde.” Historically, these buildings lacked a continuous connection. The client envisioned a unifying structure—a connecting roof—to gracefully span these structures and create a new, iconic outdoor space.

This roof, named “Rua da Saúde,” arches over the hospital complex’s courtyard, comprised of 1647 glass panels. Its sleek, organic design, constructed from a triangular steel grid topped with glass, links three interior zones to the hospital’s main entrance. Functionally, it offers shelter while fostering a vibrant, green outdoor area for hospital users to relax and engage in social activities, seamlessly blending with the environment.

The structural concept relies on 14 support points strategically positioned in front of the buildings, meticulously planned considering the existing structures and underground facilities. Horizontal loads are primarily managed by the impluvium’s support points and an M-shaped bracing system.

Additional V-shaped columns handle minor horizontal loads, while vertical columns mainly support vertical loads at their base points. The grid shell comprises a triangular steel grid with tubular profiles connected by welded nodes and six steel plates, along with a solid conical tube. The slender supports also utilise tubular profiles.

Extensive geometric and structural optimisation during the design phase resulted in an exceptionally slender yet striking structure. The glass roof not only modernises Santa Casa de Misericórdia but also promises to become a defining landmark for Porto Alegre, showcasing a blend of functionality and aesthetic allure.