Staff Reporter
THE new Son Dureta hospital which the Balearic government is planning to build on a site known as Son Espases will have four nine-storey blocks and has been designed to reduce the visual impact on its surroundings, particularly Secar de la Real. The Balearic health ministry has already shown the basic draft to the city council and to neighbours of Secar de la Real. It has been drawn up by architects Ruiz Yebenes and Julián Arranz. Their chief objective has been to reduce the visual impact for residents of Secar de la Real, and they have used the slope of the land, so that only four storeys of the new hospital will be visible from this area. On the other hand, all nine storeys will be visible from the Valldemossa road. The announcement that the new hospital would be built at Ses Espases has been subject to a barrage of criticism from the neighbours of Secar de la Real, note for its 16th century monastery. The city council gave assurances that the hospital would be as far as possible from the area, guaranteeing that there would be a 50'000 square metre green zone between the district and the hospital, but this did little to appease criticism. The land where the new hospital will be built has cost the city council 7.2 million euros and the purchase itself was surrounded by controversy. However, last week, Parliament decided not to set up a committee to clear up details of purchase process. The architects have yet to draw up final plans.
It is the government's aim to have the new Son Dureta completed in a maximum of six years.
The architects Ruiz Yébenes and Julián Arranz had already redesigned the original Son Dureta building before plans to refurbish it were scratched. With the change of government, the health ministry asked the two architects to adapt as much of their work as possible to the new plot of land. It has taken them little more than six months to complete the commission.
One of the chief characteristics of the new Son Dureta will be a larger casualty ward. The architects bore in mind the acute lack of space in the ward in the old Son Dureta. The new facility will have 850 rooms, half of which will be individual, one of the biggest improvements in the new hospital.
Both Castillo and Balearic leader Jaume Matas have said that they will change the Son Espases site if the central government will pay for new land on which to build the hospital. But Madrid is unlikely to do this, sources said.

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