Recent Scandinavian hospitals projects testify a generational shift in healthcare architecture, investigating how architecture can enhance mental and physical wellbeing.
In the modern history of hospital architecture, the Vitruvian Triad has been highly challenged by the predominance of functional aspects, ruling layouts, spatial arrangements, flows and dimensions. However, since the 80’s, we have seen an increasing focus on the relationship between wellbeing and architecture, also supported by evidence-based design research and environmental psychology, particularly in hospital settings. Lately, the rising climate crisis is urging action on net-zero carbon ambitions in all projects, including traditionally carbon intensive buildings such as hospitals.
Today, healthcare architects need to balance between complex functional and technical requirements, challenging sustainability goals to shape attractive environments where well-being and health promotion for staff, patients and families are in focus. In addition to this complexity, rapid transformation of diagnostic and treatment, digitalisation as well as demographic and economic challenges, generate a peculiar dilemma that all hospital projects face. It takes an average of 6-10 years to deliver a large hospital project, and by completion the building might already be obsolete.
Cristiana’s lecture will take start from the paradigm shift of healthcare buildings design, moving into processes and methods from a Swedish perspective, and ending with the case study of the award winning SÄS Psychiatric Clinic.