In February 2015 we talked about the project by Aladina Foundation to reform the paediatric ICU (PICU) of  hospital Niño Jesús de Madrid.

The new unit is now a reality! It has opened its doors on December 14th.

The new Aladina-Juan Casado PICU has materialized through donations, with the spot “Achuchones Solidarios”  and  more than half of the cost of the project  (1,500,000 €)  has been already raised.

It´s expected that this PICU will attend each year more than 800 children, in addition to receiving the most serious cancer cases from throughout Spain. So, it has set up the best technology facilities and it has created an environment in which the mood of children and their families is very important in the recovery.

14 robotic arms of advanced technology and computers at foot of bed have been installed to allow to visualize the tests in situ in all workplaces equipped for intensive care. The unit also has 7 simple box and 1 double for trauma and 6 boxes of isolation with positive/negative pressure.

To create a warm atmosphere, natural light is given great importance. Before the reform it had artificial light and now there are large windows that provide natural light that also allow to enjoy the wonderful view offered by the Park of El Retiro. Thus, small patients, families and staff may maintain their circadian rhythm and their mood will improve.

To enhance the natural light flow, all the spaces inside the PICU are separated by glass partitions. This, added to the use of low lighting (within the energy saving plan), to the control of natural and artificial lighting and acoustic comfort, make the unit a sustainable space.


It has been designed thinking in families by placing comfortable armchairs at foot of bed, creating a  rest room with bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, etc. and staff will have rest room of nursing and resident with own bath room.

Without a doubt, a bright and spacious environment with a warm and dynamic decoration through vinyl representing stars and constellations in pastel, green, blue and yellow colors that relax and bring positivity, customizing each position with a different design.

I’d like to highlight a detail in the design of this unit that I believe that we must pay close attention and is the decoration of the ceilings. It´s important, because frequently is the only thing the patient can see. Recently Raquel Nieto said us: “I spent 99 days looking at a grid of air conditioning”.

With vinyl, as in this case, we can do to change the perception of the space of the patients, passing from a cold view to be a warm and pleasant view.



The new PICU is a great project and pioneer project: it has been thought in the children, their families and the staff where combining the best technology with a space warm and friendly. From Proyecto HU-CI, we send congratulations, thank and applaud the work of Paco Arango and the team of Aladina Foundation, which has funded this impressive and necessary integral reform.



And finally, as we are at Christmas, I’d like to ask a wish:

I ask that institutions would be aware of existing facilities: there are many obsolete that must be reformed so that patients and families could stay in the best possible experience in the ICU and the healthcare team could develop their work in good conditions.

Greetings and Happy Christmas!.

Mónica Ferrero

Interior Designer in Lab in Action and member of  Proyecto HU-CI