Healthcare Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
Although any architectural project must ensure the safety and well-being of its occupants, this goal is especially pertinent for healthcare spaces, whose primary occupants are those prone to getting sick or worsening their initial condition. For this reason, its design must not only support medical procedures in their optimal conditions, but also ensure that the environment is kept sterile and clean at all times.
How do materials that fight the growth of pathogenic bacteria work? Is it possible to improve the hygiene and healthiness of an environment without neglecting the aesthetics of the space? We address this question by reviewing the case of Krion® solid surfaces, widely used in the healthcare sector but also in residential, commercial and office projects.
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.
Hassell has approached health and wellness differently in the newest healthcare facility in Western Australia. With innovation at the core of the architectural concept, the Murdoch Knowledge Health Precinct puts people first, creating a state-of-the-art intervention, a hub for activities and interconnected public spaces.
As hospitals around the world are reaching their capacity, the architecture and design community is developing new alternatives to fight COVID-19. In order to build 60 Emergency Quarantine Facilities (EQF), WTA was inspired by their pavilion developed last year, part of the Anthology Festival. A viable quarantine structure, the Boysen Pavilion “embodied speed, scalability and simplicity in its structure”.
Addressing contextual severe healthcare problems, like the outbreak of infectious diseases or maternal mortality, MASS has helped in setting design strategies to mitigate and reduce critical medical concerns. With some projects operational, and others in the pipeline, the facilities imagined, tackle a wide range of complications.
Opposite Office has proposed to transform the new Berlin airport, under construction since 2006, into a “Superhospital” for coronavirus patients. In an attempt to prepare the healthcare system and increase its capabilities, Opposite Office presented an adaptive reuse alternative, drawing contextual solutions to fight the pandemic.
Hospitals and projects related to healthcare must follow specific guidelines based on the rules and regulations of their country. These standards help us to design complex spaces, such as those located in areas of surgery, hospitalization, diagnostics, laboratories, and including areas and circulations that are clean, dirty, restricted or public, which create a properly functioning building.
There are a few spaces that we, as architects, can develop with great ease and freedom of design: waiting rooms, reception areas, and outdoor spaces. These are spaces where architects can express the character of the hospital. To jump-start you into this process, we have selected 43 projects that show us how creativity and quality of a space go hand-in-hand with functionality.
Foster + Partners has created in partnership with Luye Medical and Cleveland Clinic, a healthcare facility, challenging the traditional hospital prototypes. The design of the general medical hospital in Shanghai’s New Hong Qiao International Medical Center aims to generate a new type of patient experience.
Architecture, in all its forms, has the innate ability to trigger our emotions and alter our perceptions. Consequently, a lot of light is currently being shed on the relation between architecture, landscape, and health.
In the 2018 edition of the Blank Space Fairytales Competition, Katie Flaxman from Studio 31 Landscape Architects, wrote a story of a father, Horace, an architect suffering from late-stage dementia and his offspring, Rowan. The fiction describes Horace’s journey in different healthcare institutions and how his presence in a building and landscape properly designed for well-being, improved his psychological and physical health.
White Arkitekter has unveiled its design for a mother and baby unit for the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Scandinavian firm developed a new facility to be built onto the existing hospital, designed to improve the wellbeing for mothers and children. The project was highly commended at WAF 2018 in the Health-Future Project category.
The Panzi Hospital, set up following 20 years of war and devastation, has expanded its focus to treating survivors of sexual violence and serves over 400,000 people. The new unit will replace the overcrowded facilities at Panzi Hospital, which deals with up to 3500 births per year, and aims to reduce the maternal and post-natal mortality rate while providing more positive birth experiences.
When the world undergoes major changes (be it social, economic, technological, or political), the world of architecture needs to adapt alongside. Changes in government policy, for example, can bring about new opportunities for design to thrive, such as the influx of high-quality social housing currently being designed throughout London. Technological advances are easier to notice, but societal changes have just as much impact upon the architecture industry and the buildings we design.