CENTURY-OLD OAKS ENFOLDED BY A CLINIC IN THE OAK GROVE PARK

September 21, 2020

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NAME OF OBJECT: plastic surgery clinic Fi Clinica
ADDRESS: Sporto St. 3, Kaunas
CUSTOMER: Ąžuolyno Sveikatingumo Centras, UAB
ARCHITECT: architectural bureau Vilius and Partners
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Kaminta UAB
AREA: around 2,800 sq m
NUMBER OF FLOORS: 3
START OF CONSTRUCTION WORKS: 2019
END OF CONSTRUCTION WORKS: 2020
ENERGY CLASS: A
INVESTMENTS: 5 million Euros

New plastic surgery centre Fi Clinica, located near Kaunas Oak Grove Park, is considered to be a significant impetus for the development of the Lithuanian medical tourism and is already referred to as one of the largest wide profile private clinics in Lithuania as well as the largest plastic surgery clinic in the Baltic States. The modern surgery and diabetes centre, which will provide plastic surgery, bariatric, orthopaedic services and wellness services offered by the diabetes centre, boasts 18 modern wards and four operating rooms with technical equipment that complies with the highest standards of private European medical institutions. The investments into the clinic amounted to 5 million Euros. The total area of the clinic, scattered across a three-floor building, is 2.8 thousand sq m.

The founders and co-owners of the clinic, plastic and reconstructive surgeons Vygintas Kaikaris and Donatas Samsanavičius and businessman Robertas Jocius, hope that the medical service centre, situated in a great location surrounded by nature, will unleash the potential of medical tourism in Kaunas. The investors plan that this clinic will offer not only plastic aesthetic but also many other surgeries as well as health services. Until now, the plastic surgery centre Fi Clinica has performed about 2 thousand surgeries a year. After the move into the new building, this number is expected to increase significantly.

The purposefully chosen location of the clinic amidst nature, next to Kaunas Oak Grove, the largest oak grove in Europe located within a city, will help the patients feel better as well. During the construction, a very sensitive and respectful approach was taken towards the nature and the old oaks of the park, trees of respectable age standing next to the building were preserved and are still flaunting their green leaves under the clinic’s windows.

The new building on the grounds of the Oak Grove Park, near the Lithuanian Sports University, the legendary Kaunas Sports Hall, S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium, and Ąžuolynas Sports Centre was designed by the architectural studio Vilius and Partners. They followed up on a project of a sports centre with a sports ground that was implemented two decades ago: the architects’ team completed the formation of the perimeter of the field and created a symmetrical composition of the building complex.

However, according to architect Vilius Adomavičius, the architects did not have too much freedom: in the detailed plan, the structure was already indicated as standing in front of the Lithuanian Sports University, perpendicular to the old building.

The structure, erected in a year on the Northern evolvent of Sporto Street, in front of the Lithuanian Sports University, and completed last winter, forms the space of the square, emphasising the monument of S. Darius and S. Girėnas situated on its axis. The vertical graphics of the façade of the clinic’s building are coordinated with the rhythm of the façade division of the Lithuanian Sports University in their proportions: vertical decorative elements made of aluminium plate carve through the building.

In order to maintain the uniformity of the buildings of the FI Clinica plastic surgery centre and the sports centre complex, the unifying black colour of the clinic’s façades was chosen. The almost transparent lower part of the building is designed to create an effect of a lighter volume as if hanging in the air.

Although the building is not complex structurally and did not pose any particular challenges in that regard, the architects had to scratch their heads over how to save the two oaks that fell into the area of the clinic’s new building. To save the trees, the building’s outline had to be adjusted accordingly – it sort of broke, bypassing the century-old trees and enfolding them with its structures.

The customers of the clinic’s projects set the highest requirements for state-of-the-art engineering ventilation, cooling, and heating solutions. Particularly stringent requirements have been met in the development of operating rooms that comply with the European standards. The construction part of the project was not only the focus, but also required the bulk of the investments.

The customers of the exclusive clinic’s project did not request for a chic interior – the one chosen is restrained and minimalist, except for some stylish details and accents. The idea of the interior style was to escape the traditional image of a hospital, allowing the patient to feel more like at a cosy hotel.

The clinic’s main interior colour chosen is white, except for the black flooring, occasionally bursting into the building, not unlike a wave rolling in from the black façades. The bright yellow upholstered benches stand out vividly in the white interior of the common areas. The colours of the wood of the custom-made reception bar of impressive colours and dimensions emphasise the minimalist style and elegance.

Construction carried out responsibly

The general contractor for the construction of the new building of the plastic surgery clinic, one of the strongest construction companies in Lithuania, Kaminta UAB, performed large-scale works of the highest quality in this object, which is great relevance to both the society and the private medical business. The construction was carried out responsibly, protecting the environment.

The construction project, managed by an experienced and reliable general contractor, was completed within a year. As part of the project, Kaminta cast the monolithic concrete structures of the three-floor building: load-bearing columns, floor ceilings, and stairways with landings. All the necessary communications were introduced to the clinic’s land plot and connected to the building: electricity, drinking water and domestic wastewater as well as heat supply networks, field engineering networks were installed. The renovated old tennis courts next to the building are now modern and adapted for professional sports.

A great deal of attention was paid to the installation of air conditioning systems, ventilation and refrigeration areas of the modern building. The clinic is equipped with underfloor heating, except for the operating rooms on the third floor, where wall heating systems were used. Heat energy for the building will be supplied by Kauno Energija’s district heating networks. The extensive engineering system equipment as well as communications and piping were installed on the flat roof of the clinic.

Kaminta, a general contractor with extensive experience in management of large construction sites, has ensured smooth operation and successful implementation of the clinic’s project, compliant with the requirements of installation of premises of medical facilities and in particular operating rooms, which are quite complex and requiring high responsibility compared to other construction works.

According to the Construction Manager of Kaminta Mangirdas Bigenis, the Company placed a particular focus on the preservation of the century-old oaks in Kaunas Oak Grove Park during the construction process. During the implementation of the project’s solutions, the roots of the two oaks were unearthed, strengthened, and protected while the crowns of the branches remained intact. The monolithic columns and ceilings of the building were concreted in such a way that the concave structure of the building bypassed and sort of embraced the growing century-old oaks as if they had entered the clinic.

According to the manager of the project Darius Tamavičius, using two tower cranes on the construction site, one of which was fitted with rails, allowed for the building materials and structures to not only moved to the three floors of the building and up on its roof, but also transferred over the ‘heads’ of the oaks without damaging them.

The timely implementation of this responsibly executed project was ensured by the general contractor’s experience in managing difficult projects, complying with short construction deadlines and organising the contract work in a responsible manner. Dozens of subcontractor companies and up to 90 specialists of various fields worked simultaneously on the three floors of the building.

Working on a relatively cramped site, the company managed to successfully overcome the challenges of supply and storage of materials and equipment, control traffic flows, and ensure smooth implementation of the project.

Quality finishing works according to the customer’s needs

A large part of the finishing works of the new clinic’s building in Kaunas Oak Grove was entrusted to the company Bygg & Fasade Service UAB. On the Fi Clinica site, the company installed gypsum partitions of the premises as well as performed a lot of plastering, painting, and tiling work that requires high quality.

Plasterboard is an easy to install building material; however, what made its installation works at the clinic unconventional was the solution to install wall heating in the operating rooms: the work of the finishing specialists had to be coordinated with the work of the heat pipeline installation team. Segments of the heat supply system were set up next to each wall partition structure and then covered with plasterboard panels by the finishing specialists. The two companies working together installed two heated walls in each of the clinic’s three operating rooms.

Due to the requirements set forth for such medical institutions with regard to the height of the premises, installing suspended ceilings in the clinic’s wards was not an option. Wash-resistant paints were used to paint the walls in the wards, lounge rooms, and common areas. The ceilings and walls in the operating rooms were painted with paint highly resistant to wet and frequent washing. Specialists of the finishing works company Bygg & Fasade Service tiled various premises of the clinic, like the bathrooms, treatment rooms, staircases, using highly resistant tiles in many of the places.

Acoustic, sound-damping ceilings and walls were installed in the clinic’s compressor room, which is subject to higher requirements regarding sound insulation, using plasterboard panels, which perfectly insulate sound and supress low frequency noise. When carrying out the most major and just various finishing works simultaneously on several floors of the clinic, there would be around 30 experienced and qualified specialists of the company working at the site at the same time. The finishing works of this project were completed in a timely and as usual quality manner. In its work, the company uses modern technologies, carries out the work quickly and in a quality manner, ensures their longevity, and flexibly adapts to the needs of the costumers of each object.

Sustainable and high-quality vinyl wall covering and flooring

For the finish of the walls of the wards on the Fi Clinica clinic’s third floor, Kaunas-based salon Interjero Linija supplied vinyl wall covering Vescom. The customers’ choice was determined by the high quality and reliability of the materials, their durability and excellent aesthetic appearance that the materials create in public sector buildings.

Vinyl wall covering Vescom designed for the public sector is of innovative design and made in accordance with the newest tendencies, consisting of a vinyl layer (300–830 g/sq m) and a cotton base. Due to this structure, the Vescom vinyl wall coverings correspond to Bfl-s1 or s2 flame spread and smoke emission class, they are extremely resistant to abrasion, shock, and frequent washing. This covering does not absorb stains of food, beverages, or grease. Vescom is among the priority material choices for medical facilities, hotels, and offices.

The Hauki collection was chosen for the finish of the walls of the Fi Clinica clinic’s wards. The pattern of this wall covering repeats the motif of the vertical details of the building’s façade, bright colours of the wall coverings give the interior vitality and cosiness reminiscent of home environment while the technically resistant surface will serve for many years without changing its aesthetic appearance.

Amtico Spacia (LVT) vinyl flooring of the Stellar Ash and Stellar Toup collections from the Interjero Linija salon were used on the clinic’s first and second floors. The design of this flooring ideally met the aesthetic and technical requirements of the interior designers and customers and fits perfectly into the overall interior.

Amtico Spacia (LVT) vinyl design floors are designed for commercial, high-traffic areas; therefore, they contain a 0.55 mm useable thickness of vinyl and are classified under resistance classes 23, 33, and 42.

These floorings is a great environmentally friendly option. All Amtico (LVT) vinyl design floor collections are made without using phthalates – substances restricted by the REACH regulation (Regulation No. 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals  – editor’s note), are suitable for buildings of energy class A + as classified according to the VOC indoor air emission scale, and hold the Indoor Air Comfort Gold certificate, which not only indicates low emissions during production, but also confirms a healthy indoor climate.

Easy floor maintenance and durability play an important role in public spaces. The surfaces of Amtico (LVT) design vinyl floors are coated with a special urethan layer, which protects the floor from abrasive particles and shoe marks. This flooring complies with the fire resistance and smoke emission fire protection (Bfls1) and slipperiness (R10) requirements and is therefore particularly suitable for public buildings restricted by strictly regulated safety requirements.

The Amtico Spacia (LVT) vinyl design floor collection is granted a 10-year wear and tear warranty. This flooring is an excellent choice for high-traffic premises. The FI Clinica clinic contains materials designed for the public sector – these are durable solutions, which will delight the customer for many years to come without changing their aesthetic appearance and will save operating costs.

The range of Interjero Linija, which has been offering products with a lasting value for two decades, includes extremely high-quality vinyl design floors, wall coverings, furniture, and curtain fabrics. Brands represented by it completely comply with the applicable quality and sustainability requirements and form a very clear strategy of the company – highest quality products, manufacturers of impeccable reputation, focus on aesthetics and durability. The many years of retail and wholesale have helped distil the key aspect of the company’s activity – the supply of aesthetic and durable finishing materials designed for the public sector but also perfect for decorating home environment. Interjero Linija can offer modern and acoustic interior materials, exclusive luminaires, and products from furniture manufacturers even for the most demanding public or private sector client.

Pleasant environment and ergonomic workplaces

Clients of the internationally-acclaimed beauty clinic Fi Clinica are greeted with Lithuanian furniture from Narbutas. The team of Narbutas Lietuva, which was responsible for the clinic’s interior project, came up with a cosy and pleasant environment for customers and ergonomic and inspiring workplaces for the employees.

In all of the common spaces and medical professionals’ offices, the clinic’s local and foreign patients can enjoy comfortable Tango, Arcipelago, and modular Jazz Chill Out upholstered benches, made at the Ukmergė factory, which stand out in the interior with their bright yellow colour. With their minimalist look and aesthetic, straight lines, the walnut-coloured manager furniture Plana and desks Nova, reserved for the doctors, give a sense of elegance.

‘When discussing the expectations for the future space with the clients and architects, we sought to offer furniture solutions that would not only perform their main function – being ergonomic and comfortable. Our team also tried to make sure that the furniture would reflect the entire organisation’s identity and values; therefore, the interior of Fi Clinica, installed among the green oaks in Kaunas, stands out with its energy, drive, and luxury’, Gabrielė Vaitonytė, the company’s Marketing Head, explains. For the Narbutas Lietuva team, it is one of the most successful projects of a beauty establishment/surgery and diabetes centre.

Antibacterial installation for optimal hygiene

The antibacterial Merten System M switches with silver ions, used at the plastic surgery centre Fi Clinica in Kaunas, is a great example of how optimal hygiene and antibacterial protection can be ensured by small interior details. Schneider Electric’s switches of an active white colour, installed not only in the wards, operating rooms, offices but also in the lounge rooms and common areas, prevent the spread of bacteria while maintaining the impeccable design on various premises of the clinic.

Antibacterial Merten System M switches reduce the thread of bacterial transmission by natural means: the self-disinfecting switch’s housing is made of high-quality impact-resistant thermoplastic, enriched with silver ions. The antibacterial materials prevent microbes from multiplying on frequently touched surfaces and tirelessly protect against the spread of bacteria 24/7.

Unlike antibiotics or disinfectants, silver ions can prevent the development of resistant microorganisms. Long-term sustainable efficiency is an important feature of Merten System M antibacterial switches as their properties remain effective throughout the life of the device – they do not wear out and can’t get wiped away as they are contained within the material. The high effectiveness of silver ions has been proven by international research, and the natural antibacterial effect is harmless to humans or the environment.

Schneider Electric’s antibacterial installation solutions are particularly well-suited for ensuring optimal hygiene in medical institutions, hotels, restaurants, airports, and train stations as well as in public spaces with large flows of people and increased risk of disease transmission.

QUALITY SOLUTIONS

The building is equipped with two Schindler 3300 passenger lifts. The main advantage is that these lifts use a belt drive, which takes up less space and allows a larger car to be installed, which means that such lifts run quieter and emit less vibration; furthermore, no grease is used, and the pullies do not wear out.

Photos by Laimonas Ciūnys and Fi Clinica

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