It's easy to think of interior design as a frivolous expense, but when healthcare is considered, it becomes apparent the key role good design can play. It can help shorten healing time, improve overall mood, and increase ease and comfortability. These are just a few reasons why well thought out design in the healthcare field can make such a difference. When most people think of where they would like to be when they are sick a typical hospital rarely comes to mind. Most have been designed simply for efficiency and lack many of the finishing touches that make a space hospitable, but this shouldn't be the case.
During the last snowstorm, we had an emergency visit to Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel for an appendectomy and we were wowed! It showed just how amazing a hospital can be. The team at ZGF truly kept the end user in mind during their thoughtful approach to a space for those who need comfort the most. Not only is it an inviting space, but sustainability played a large role during the whole process. From experience, it was hard to get our young patient to even want to leave.
"A cramped, outdated hospital wing was transformed into a new, 334,000 square-foot, nine-story building dedicated to pediatric care. The building features single-patient rooms, large windows that bring natural light into rooms and corridors, unique family and social spaces, and access to stunning outdoor gardens - all design elements that studies have shown can improve the health of patients and enhance the quality of care provided." - Nathalie Weinstein
My Design Associate, Katherine O'Brien, also used a similar concept for her senior thesis. The project focused on creating a space that the patient is happy to be in and able to heal more quickly. Another key point was to make sure that friends and family of a patient would want to visit. Finally, making sure that form did not outweigh function, the space was designed so that the workers could easily do their job in a space they could enjoy. The space featured single patient rooms, two apartment-style suites for family who might accompany the patient, a gym, gardens, and much more.
We can only hope that future healthcare facilities take their patients and staff into consideration and continue to make more spaces like these.