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7 Hospitals That Are Saving Lives — And Inspiring Us With Their Design

7 Hospitals That Are Saving Lives — And Inspiring Us With Their Design

Hospitals are not as glamorous as opera-houses, art-museums, or the homes of celebrity couples — but their design is equally important. The patients who come to a hospital are sick and their families are worried — design can help both the parties feel more at ease. People can also forget that hospitals are workplaces for the doctors, nurses, janitors and other administrative staff who spend anywhere from 7 to 10 hours a day inside. Therefore, hospitals need to be designed with these facts in mind. They need to fit the aesthetic and functional needs of the people who spend time inside their walls.

Research in the 1980s revealed the Sick Building Syndrome — a phenomenon according to which people who were otherwise in good health started coughing, sneezing and feeling dizzy if their indoor atmosphere was not well-lit and well-ventilated. It is important, therefore, that hospitals provide the optimum environment for their patients to recuperate in.

Research has also revealed that inadequate levels of exposure to daylight at work can lead to decreased productivity and worse sleep. A hospital is one place where a less productive, sleep-deprived workforce can literally mean more deaths. Therefore, the architecture of a hospital needs to support and enhance the work of the staff, not make it more difficult.

We have curated some extraordinary examples of hospitals that are ticking all the right boxes when it comes to construction design. They are getting all the basics right — bright settings, spacious rooms, constant air-flow — and then they are going beyond to break new ground.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Here’s a picture of this hospital from Northern England

If something seems missing, that’s because it is. This is a hospital for children where you can barely see the medical equipment, thick wiring, and other tools that we have come to associate with hospital images and visits. Most of the wiring is hidden beyond the colorful formica blocks. The equipment is pulled out only when necessary. This design minimizes the psychosomatic aspect of illness — if the young patients are constantly reminded that they are sick, that they are in a hospital, that they need medical supervision — then these reminders may actually delay their recovery. Therefore, this hospital offers a playful ambience where the pills, nerve syringes, and drip stands are not offered the chance to hack the brain into feeling sicker than it really is.

Taiwanese Dental Hospital: This dental office in Taiwan is built on the philosophy that patients must feel welcome from the moment they step in. That’s why their waiting lobby is built like a living room.

Can Misses Hospital: This hospital in Ibiza features unique photoluminescent strips of paint that allow its outer facade to shine in the night.

The construction firm Louis Vidal + firmly believes in the power of color to heal people. The alternating white stripes are reminiscent of Ibiza’s beaches, while the colored stripes are there to uplift the mood of patients (and their families plus friends) who are walking in and out of the hospital.

Taverny Medical Centre: This medical centre is located next to a busy road. Therefore, the ingenious design solution to bring in a sense of calm was to turn the building inwards. As you can see, the building has very few windows that are facing outward.

However, this building has a lovely courtyard on the inside.

The inner courtyard is meant to continue the therapeutic work that starts inside the walls of the centre.

This centre proves that innovative construction that turn around the flaws and of the location into a strength.

Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Disease: This centre for research allows passersby to peek into its labs from the street. This design is built on the idea that medical research has been insulated for far too long — and that a little bit of transparency goes a long way in building trust between the medical scientists and the public at large.

The London Animal Hospital: This animal care centre is themed around the historic rivalry between cats and dogs. There are separate paths leading to the feline and the canine treatment rooms — all care is taken to ensure that these two warring species do not encounter each other! Some benches are marked: “Only Cats Please.”

Maggie’s Centre. This cancer advice centre’s gorgeous exterior was created by using three distinct elements.

Dezeen, an architectural magazine, notes that this building achieves its luminous effect with the help of “a concrete frame, a layer of bamboo wood and a skin of matt glass.”

The world of design is never boring — even a niche category such as Hospital Architecture throws up the most innovative construction solutions. That’s what we love about construction and design.

What did you think of these thoughtful — and sometimes playful — buildings? Have you had a hospital experience that was pleasantly surprising? Tell us in the comments below!

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