In a historic Barcelona monastery, a vibrant visual language brings bold Pantone colours to a mental health and social integration centre for young patients.
In an old monastery in Barcelona there now exists a place called Acompanya’m, which translates to “accompany me.” The residential therapy centre serves children with mental health problems and social integration issues.
So when it came time to adapt the historic setting for this sensitive new use, the architects – Eskubi-Turró Arquitectes and STA Lluís Barreiro Arquitecte – collaborated with the graphic studios of Rai Pinto and Dani Rubio to create a visual identity program that would both comfort the individual patrons and promote the idea of living collectively.
As the designers explain, “In a centre where the objective is to prepare children with special conditions to live in society, it seemed important to promote that individual and that collective, and the fact of learning live together.”
The wall decals that create Acompanya’m’s coherent graphic language are based on the old monastery’s neo-Gothic meets Catalan art nouveau style. Deconstructed into flat shapes and then given blocky dimensions, the flourishes of the building’s facade reappear inside as colourful painted decals on walls, graphics on translucent panels, and motifs on the bedding and fabrics.
The centre is divided into sets of three-bedroom apartments – each trio sharing a living room, dining room and kitchen and bath – and spaces for professionals. Each apartment is unified with a colour scheme specific to the age group: on the younger kids’ floor the hues are warmer, and in the floor dedicated to teens the palette is colder and darker.
In addition to these interiors, the centre also has a patio and a prefab pavilion that functions as a school. On the surfaces of these spaces, the graphics are scaled up to dramatic effect.
To ensure that the palette remained true amongst the various applications, the designers developed numerous colour charts that took into account the Pantone hues’ translation into vinyl, paint, lacquer, melamine, cloth and textile.