Healthcare Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
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.
BIM and 3D modeling are essential in today’s architecture field. What they aren’t, however, is static or prescriptive. The way BIM is integrated varies not just by firm, but even by individual project. The size of the building, structure of the project team, or even government mandates can dictate how a firm utilizes their BIM capabilities. Belgian firm Osar Architects found that Vectorworks is the best match for the way they run their office. Specifically, Vectorworks Architect is well-matched for the type and extent of modeling they do because it's flexible to fit the needs of each project.
For several years, Rosi Pachilova has been looking into and building upon the tools we use to analyse and configure layouts for our built environment. Together with Dr Kerstin Sailer, a reader in Social and Spatial Networks at the Space Syntax Laboratory, UCL, she has developed a tool that can assess spatial proposals for their impact on the quality of care of healthcare providers. In 2019, their work was awarded the RIBA President’s Award for Research in the Building in Quality category.
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.
Concerns about the hygiene, durability, and healthiness of interior spaces have increased considerably in recent years, drawing extreme attention to hospital and health-related projects. Consequently, the choice of materials becomes essential from the conception of each project, guaranteeing that each space performs effectively on all fronts, from resistance and safety to environmental comfort and aesthetics.
In particular, the enclosures in hospitals and health centers must conform to a series of predetermined guidelines and dimensions, which respond to the standardized sizes of different types of equipment and to the needs of each medical procedure. Within the robust framework of the structural walls, the partitions – which are essential for subdividing the space – must be especially resistant to impact, fire, and humidity, in addition to effectively mediating the acoustics between rooms and inside each one of them.
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.
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.