Chiesi Group, a pharmaceutical company that focuses on research-based innovation, has prioritized the health of patients across all age groups for over 85 years. Seeking the development of the next healthcare landmark for innovation, they launchedRestore to Impact, an international call for entries to redesign the historic industrial site in Via Palermo, Parma.
Open to two categories –Professionals and Under 30s– the competition aims to find innovative, evolutionary and transversal proposals that will be the basis for the guidelines of the future architectural building project. The winning proposals for the three eligible concepts for the professional category will receive € 12,000 each, while the Under 30 category will receive € 5,000 each.
The Developer Red Sea Global has partnered with the wellness brand Clinique La Prairie to develop a high-end health resort in Amaala, located on the northwest coastline of Saudi Arabia. The resort will host 13 villas and 52 houses and suites. It will also feature a diagnostics lab, a museum, a beach club, workshops, training rooms, private dining spaces, and a cooking school, activities that ensure that the visitors embark on a journey of rejuvenation and self-discovery.
With many high streets hollowing out and the National Health Services Association pushed to its limits, Heatherwick Studio is calling for a new kind of health space in metropolitan cities. The Health Street initiative is placed right at the heart of urban communities, reimagining the way we look at well-being and the holistic health of complete localities. Moreover, this radical approach to health creation is based on integrating community-led facilities into the local high streets.
Imagine walking into a hospital and being greeted by greenery, views, natural light streaming in through large windows and open spaces that promote calmness and serenity. These favorable conditions play a crucial role in shaping patients’ experience, making their days a little bit easier while promoting healing. In fact, good healthcare design has been shown to reduce patient stays, infection rates, medication and medical errors, as well as improve staff attraction and performance. A well-designed facility can ultimately transport patients from a sterile, clinical environment to one that is warm, inviting and even uplifting. Such is the case of the Crystal Clinic Orthopaedic Center by HGA Architects, which has been selected among the five winners of the 2022 Shaw Contract Design Awards “Best of Globe” for its innovative approach to healthcare.
Public health and the built environment have a long-intertwined history—one that was catapulted into the limelight amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The global crisis made us all acutely aware of how design, whether for dedicated medical buildings or other building types, can affect our ability to respond to health emergencies as well as our daily well-being. Those most attuned to this connection are a niche group of architecture and design practitioners who also have medical experience.
March 20, 2020: I am in New York, “the epicenter of Covid-19,” the news on TV keeps blaring, as if proud of the achievement. New York has always been excessive, so why not now? More cases, more hospitalizations, more ICU admissions, more intubations, more deaths. The news is terrifying and at the same time completely at odds with the day-to-day experience of the city, which has become so strangely quiet, so peaceful. No traffic, no construction noise, no annoying car alarms, no random screams in the middle of the night. Even the ambulances are mostly silent without cars to fight against.
On August 27th, 1883, the volcano of Krakatoa in the Indonesian islands erupted. Ashes and rocks flew miles high. Barometers wobbled three and a half times as they recorded the atmospheric pressure wave circumnavigating the globe. The noise was heard across the Indian Ocean and Australia. And for years, small ash particles floated in the atmosphere, diffusing the sun’s light and scattering colors around the world.
At the inauguration of the First Brazilian Congress of Eugenics in July of 1929, the physician and anthropologist Edgar Roquette-Pinto addressed an audience preoccupied with the question of how a country as vast as Brazil could best increase and improve its population. To accomplish this, Roquette-Pinto exalted “eugenia” as the new science that, together with medicine and hygiene, would guarantee the efficiency and perfection of the race. With the following words, the Brazilian scientist underscored a positivist agenda that brought architecture to the very core of the eugenics—the so-called science of race “improvement”—movement: “It is critical to emphasize that the influence [on our race] does not stem from the natural environment but rather from the artificial environment, created by man.” With these opening remarks to the Congress, Roquette-Pinto called attention to the crucial role that the man-made environment plays in the “amelioration” of what he called “the biological patrimony” of Brazil’s diverse population. In his invitation to social engineering, Roquette Pinto pointed to the environmental-genetic collusion that they hoped would bring with it the very possibility of progress.
What would it mean to design buildings that exceed the economic accountings of liberal biopolitics, that instead offer an entirely different rationale for supporting health? In the years that Michel Foucault conceptualized the term biopolitics, he was part of a constellation of researchers and architects who developed care praxes that defined the value of life and its maintenance through a desire-based calculus. The welfare state institutions of architect Nicole Sonolet in particular—mental hospitals, public housing complexes, and new village typologies built mainly in postwar France and postcolonialAlgeria from the 1950s to the 1980s—were designed not only to support but to center the needs of people often excluded from design processes. Sonolet’s mental health centers for residents of Paris’s 13th arrondissement, in particular, were key projects for discovering a design practice tied to the provision of care for its own sake.
Adjaye Associates has been commissioned the design of district hospitals, part of the Agenda 111 initiative by the Ghana Government. The major vision for Ghana’s healthcare sector will consist of 111 Hospitals including 101 District Hospitals, 2 Psychiatric Hospitals, 7 Regional Hospitals, and the Redevelopment of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) unveiled its design for the New York City Public Health Laboratory, a ten storey building meant to strengthen the metropole's capability to respond to a variety of public health issues and future challenges. The laboratory is organized within a cubic glass volume stepping outward, which rises from a masonry-clad podium containing community-related functions. In order to give the new facility an active role within the Harlem neighbourhood, the design incorporates a training lab and an auditorium available to the community.
Auckland in New Zealand has topped the ranking in the 2021 EIU's annual world's most liveable city survey. Classifying 140 cities across five categories including stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, this year’s edition of the review has been highly affected by the global pandemic. Australia, Japan, and New Zealand took leading positions, while European and Canadian cities fell down the ranking.
A new film by OMA / Reinier de Graaf titled “The Hospital of the Future” has been released as a part of the exhibition, Twelve Cautionary Urban Tales at Matadero Madrid Centre for Contemporary Creation. Dubbed a “visual manifesto”, the 12-minute short film questions the long-standing conventions in the field of healthcare architecture in terms of the methodology behind how hospitals are built and also why they are built in certain ways. Through an exploration of the role that disease has played in shaping cities, the film offers a lens into the future of what we might expect for healthcare design, especially as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite all the news of re-openings, lifted restrictions, al fresco options dining, and a return to something more closely resembling “normal,” COVID-19 is still very much with us. And despite the defeatist/downplayed/nothing to see here stance embraced by the current presidential administration, the United States is still in the midst of an unprecedented public health crisis. In some states, both new reported cases and hospitalizations have now reached record highs.
This being said, the need for accessible, easy to fabricate, and quick-to-deploy testing facility solutions are still in great need, particularly in dense urban areas, at large institutions and workplaces, and in underserved communities where coronavirus testing might come as a luxury, not a basic necessity. In terms of testing availability, all bases need to and must be covered.
As the healthcare infrastructure is becoming overwhelmed and hospitals around the world are reaching their capacities, new alternative possibilities are emerging. In response to bed shortage and facility saturation, architects around the world are taking action, in the on-going fight against the coronavirus. Focusing their knowhow to find fast and efficient design solutions that can be implemented anywhere, they are proposing flexible, fast assembled, mobile, and simple structures. With a very tight timetable, some projects are already implemented and in service, while others remain on a conceptual level, waiting to be adopted.
The first unit from Carlo Ratti’s CURA project was built at a temporary hospital in Turin, north of Italy, one of the world’s hardest-hit regions by the pandemic. Launched four weeks ago, the initiative to convert shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Pods for COVID-19 patients was assembled at record speed.