Hospitals are complex structures to say the least. They are a succinct amalgamation of form and function, taking into cognizance the needs of the society with their cultural distinctions. Whilst hospitals form a fundamental segment of every society world over, planning and design of these facilities varies in accordance. Yet, there are some preconditions that each hospital needs to adhere to. Their planning also has to be able to respond to the future demands of services and patient load. This is where most hospital architects unite in their thought process.
It’s vital for a hospital architect to keep the operational aspects of a hospital in the foreground during the planning and design process. In many cases the design can impact a critical situation that a patient may face during the process of his care.
By and large hospital structures do not offer the same visual impact that some modern day non-healthcare structures do. This is primarily owing to the end use where the purpose is different. Hospitals have always been a place of severe stress, traumatic experience and anxiety. Yet, the imprint that a hospital imparts to its patients makes a great difference to the process of convalescence. Thus many hospital architects today are paying attention to appearances too as this can have a dramatic effect on the healing process. Moreover, appealing aesthetics makes influences the staff resulting in better productivity whilst visitors too experience the positive impact.
Architects can and should take an active role in the discussion about the kind of facility the hospital of the future would be. They could do it by:
- Working with hospital leadership to understand the patient base of the future
- Seeking to design and build less expensive facilities
- Designing facilities that are efficient to use and access and that cost less to operate
- Designing facilities that make life easier for caregivers and healthier for patients.