5 Elements of the Perfect Hospital Design Architecture
Anyone who has spent time in a hospital will tell you that the experience is far from pleasant. The sterile environment, the uncomfortable beds, and the incessant beeping of medical machinery can make even a short stay feel like an eternity. But what if hospitals could be designed in a way that made them more comfortable and welcoming? According to architects and hospital administrators, it is possible to create a hospital design that minimizes stress and encourages healing.
Here are 5 elements of the perfect hospital design architecture:
1: Architecture & Campus Design
Good campus planning and architecture allows the layout of streets, building approach and building entries to serve as wayfinding devices. Trying to read signs while driving is nerve-wracking. Vehicular access and approach roads should be designed to be intuitive and clear to alleviate stress on the commute.
In addition, choices in scale, lighting and materiality for the main entry to the hospital, parking structures, and medical office buildings put patients and their families on the quickest path to the front door. Locating vertical circulation towers and major public spaces near main entries serves as a beacon for those arriving at night, signaling to patients and families where to go with clearly illuminated entrances.
2. Main Entry & Lobbies
The goal of a main entry and lobby is to welcome patients and families, help them orient themselves, provide wayfinding cues and direct them to their destination. The most effective lobbies are ones in which the public can easily see where they need to go and how to get there.
Amenities such as food service, gift shops and coffee bars should be located in the lobby to give visitors a sense of comfort. And if possible, the main entry should be connected to a central public space such as a courtyard or atrium to help orient patients and families and minimize stress.
3. Public Spaces & Corridors
The best hospital design architecture incorporates public spaces and corridors that are well-lit, comfortable and inviting. These spaces should provide patients and families with a place to relax, gather their thoughts and prepare for their next appointment.
In addition, public spaces and corridors should be designed in a way that minimizes stress by providing clear wayfinding cues. For example, using different colors or floor patterns to designate different areas of the hospital can help patients and families orient themselves and find their way around.
4. Patient Rooms
Patient rooms should be designed with the patient’s comfort and recovery in mind. The rooms should be spacious and well-lit with plenty of storage space for the patient’s belongings.
In addition, the rooms should be designed so that the patient has a clear view of the door to minimize stress and anxiety. And if possible, the rooms should be located near public spaces and corridors to provide patients with a sense of connection to the outside world.
5. Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor spaces such as courtyards, gardens and rooftops can provide patients and families with a much-needed sense of calm in the midst of a chaotic hospital stay. These spaces should be designed for relaxation with comfortable seating, soft lighting and
plenty of greenery.
In addition, outdoor spaces should be located near public spaces and corridors to provide patients with a sense of connection to the outside world.
The perfect hospital design architecture should incorporate all of these elements to create a space that is comfortable, welcoming and stress-free. By incorporating these elements into the design of new hospitals and retrofitting existing ones, we can create healing environments that promote well-being and recovery.