Building Hospitals – Hospital Buildings

“Architecture affects people. The architecture of hospitals contributes to the well-being and recovery of patients. This bold proposition dates back to the late 18th century, and has been a recurring theme in the functional development of hospital architecture ever since. The most recent manifestation of this was the phenomenon of ‘Evidence-Based Design’, which originated in the USA. This methodology compares the effects of various spatial factors and provided indisputable evidence that architecture does indeed work for the first time. The positive influence of architecture is one of the two cornerstones of The Architecture of Hospitals. The other is architecture as an historical discipline with a wide-ranging cultural dimension. The hospital, being a public and representative building with a special societal function, is the ideal vehicle to express this cultural dimension. From French and German examples it seems that good architecture can, moreover, contribute to an agreeable, orderly and well maintained environment, which perhaps has a greater impact on the functioning of the hospital than the effects of Evidence-Based Design.

Architecture as architecture and as medicine is the theme of The Architecture of Hospitals. Partially based on a project of the same name initiated by the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), which included various conferences, studios and workshops, the book bears no resemblance to the standard bundle of conference proceedings. Instead it is a richly illustrated publication which is constructed around five themes: culture, healthcare concepts, Evidence-Based Design, technology and country-specific presentations. The book includes a selection of new, ground-breaking designs interspersed with a number of in-depth historical studies. (NAi Publishers)”

The Berlage studio taught by Markus Schaefer looked at the development of architectural hospital types in the past and envisions types for the future.

Schaefer, Markus: “Building Hospitals – Hospital Buildings” in: Cor Wagenaar (ed.): The Architecture of Hospitals. (Rotterdam; NAI, 2006)

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