The architecture and design of hospital and other such health care facilities are changing. The stereotypical and traditional institutional facilities are now being replaced by spaces that are built around holistic care.
Holistic care emphasizes the healing process as much as it does the surgical side of hospital spaces, with many modern facilities now placing comfort and the psychological aspects of healing ahead of clinical austerity.
According to Dr. Esther M. Sternberg, author of ‘Healing Spaces’, the environment in which a patient is placed can drastically affect their recovery time and pain management. This relatively new way of thinking it is drastically changing the way in which health care spaces are designed.
Plans for a Cancer Care Centre in Næstved, Denmark shares these same principles of holistic care through design. Taking on a very sensitive function, the building will cater to the healing needs of cancer patients.
Designed by WE Architecture, the building’s design has been specifically developed in line with healing spaces principles, with a key focus on indoor/outdoor connectivity.
The building’s namesake ‘Oasis’ – which will be developed in between the main hospital and busy road ways – will turn the centre’s main focus inwards, with interior courtyards taking the emphasis off of exterior surroundings and creating a safe and secluded relaxation zone.
A connection to what will become soft and lush outdoors spaces is paramount to the designers. This is especially relevant given the strong indication that healing is further aided and pain levels reduced in patients who are in rooms with garden views. In responding to this need, the basic building spaces will appear almost transparent, allowing for constant visual contact with these outdoor spaces.
This model for hospital and health care architecture is increasingly becoming the norm due its strong positive results. It is commendable to see so much industry enthusiasm in going beyond developing buildings that have a purpose greater than shelter or even aesthetics, with a true focus on the health of patients.