Hospital Design's Beauty
Once in a while I take a look at The Guardian’s column, Constructive Criticism: the week in architecture. It is a weekly roundup of news centered on architecture around the world but mostly in the United Kingdom.
Although the column doesn’t center on healthcare buildings, there is still some great information and structures of visual interest that keep drawing me back each week. However, I am sometimes more interested in the comments people leave. With remarks such as “That new building is hideous,” and sometimes more colorful comments, it is clear that the phrase “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” remains as true as ever.
The design of healthcare buildings has certainly come a long way. At one point hospitals existed only to serve their primary function of being an institution where the sick or injured receive care. They were rather stark and cold. These days they are still are a place of healing but through time, research and advancements hospitals have evolved. They can now actually be appreciated for their aesthetic appeal while also serving the medical needs of a community.
Sometimes at first glance, to the layperson the design of some healthcare facilities can be rather awe-inspiring but who would have thought hospitals would ever be called beautiful? The design field continues to push the boundaries and challenge itself to deliver healthcare spaces that are comfortable and practical for those who work in them, soothing and pleasant to be in while patients receive critical care, and less of a burden on the environment.
Recently HealthExecNews.com compiled a list of “The 25 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the World” taking into account, interior and exterior design as well as health promoting features. Do you agree with the selection? In many countries healthcare facilities are listening to their patients, especially with the rise of medical tourism, and those patients want a hospital that may not break the bank on all aspects of hospitality and artistic design but goes that extra mile to make the hospital a place of calm, healing, and respite. The beauty of the hospital is now seen from multiple angles that are all-inclusive to present that final vision.