Healthcare design: the hospital of the future
James Steinkamp Photography
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” said Winston Churchill, thus laying the foundations for the concept of evidence-based design. Within the framework of this concept, the critical thinking of the architect joins forces with the knowledge and awareness of the client, to generate a design underpinned by proven, research-based evidence aimed at maximising the well-being of users.
This design philosophy finds its most effective expression in healthcare architecture, where we are beginning to see excellent examples of tangible responses to the practical and emotional needs not only of patients, but also of the staff and families who look after them.
Designed by Jain Malkin, the foremost exponent of American hospital architecture, the Indu & Raj Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek, Ohio (USA) is an outstanding monument to this new design concept.
“Good healthcare design is fairly common in the lobbies and public areas of healthcare facilities,” explains Malkin, “but the patient-care areas are often bare, and lacking in the attractive design details that that can take patients’ minds off their illness and re-focus them on a positive sense of well-being. That’s why our designs always pay close attention to judicious use of light and distinctive design elements in patient-care areas. The starting point for all our projects is to put ourselves in patients’ shoes and look at the environment through their eyes. This immediately puts us in touch with those factors that might increase the stress and psychological pressure associated with illness and hospitalisation.”
The choice of colours, textures and combinations of coverings thus plays a key role in the design, because all these factors contribute to creating an environment that is conducive to the cure and recovery of patients in a variety of ways.
On entering the Indu & Raj Soin Medical Center, you have the impression of being in a luxury hotel rather than a hospital, and this initial impact elicits the immediately positive reaction that plays such a vital role in facilitating recovery. A key ingredient of this impression is the vast expanse of porcelain tile. Porcelain tile covers the floors and walls alike, and its large formats and harmonious colours bring to mind the clean, fresh appearance of natural stone. Produced by Caesar Ceramiche, the tiles belong to the Feel collection (in the colours Mida, Colonial and Purple) and the More collection (in Sahara, Lux and Coliseum), and are often embellished with metal strips that accentuate their character and personality. The decision to use large formats is in perfect tune with the magniloquence of the space, which also features elegant, contemporary juxtapositions of materials, including the highly successful pairing of ceramic and carpet.
Caesar, Feel and More series
30x60 - 60x60 - 60x120 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): compliant
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): compliant
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): compliant
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant