Of course we have all gone to the hospital at least once in our life. Yes, we have seen the changes that our local hospital has had through years and years. Hospitals are a sign of progress and a sign that the city takes care of its citizens. By law, there has to be a hospital for every certain number of inhabitants, so smaller cities or villages mean smaller hospitals or no hospital at all (the nearest city hospital can cover the needs of a certain area); and bigger cities mean many hospitals with many services and many advances that can cover the city inhabitants and the near towns around the city. Hospitals will always be something impressive if you take a close look, but not a place that you want to visit or go as a tourist.
But why not acknowledge the real good ones? Why not take a look at them in an architectural way and allow ourselves to be impressed? This is exactly what I, Kenny Slaught, have done, look at some of the most impressive hospitals around the world and after the research, give you a little insight about it. Let’s take a look.
Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Children, located in Orlando, Florida
This hospital looks more like a hotel and it comes from the minds of Jonathan Bailey Associates UK LTD. In fact, the concept is as a hotel. The exterior structure is made up of dark glass and it rests on a triangle-shaped base. The idea was also functional because that arrangement has many advantages such as an easier access to resources, more efficiency when it comes to moving patients and staff and a more simplified way of monitoring activities. The hospital was finished in 2006, and it is now a landmark that people cannot miss. The Winnie Palmer Hospital was a $100 million project that covers over 391,000 square feet of new construction and approximately 23,000 square feet of renovation. With its design it reflects a sense of serenity that is more like a high-end hotel aimed to have a healing getaway and not a hospital stay.
Akershus University Hospital – Nordbyhagen, Norway
This hospital comes from the minds within the Scandinavian firm Arkitektfirmaet C. F. Møller. They aimed at creating a friendly, welcoming environment for patients and their families with many visual stimulations and a unique design for each section of the hospital. For example, the wards have one kind of architectural expression, while the treatment departments have another and the children’s clinic another. The hospital is so innovative that it even uses geothermal heating for most of its warming requirements. It was open in 2008 and works on the emergency department went until 2014. In 2009 it won the award for Best International Design in the Building Better Healthcare Awards.
Daylight was given an important space in the design and it has amazing landscapes that surround it and the short distances between the functions, the clear organisation and the modern technology give the staff more time for their patients.
Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Center – London, UK
The design of this hospital is solely aimed at giving children the most welcoming environment they can have while they are visiting or they are going through an illness. It makes them feel better about the whole issue. According to its architects Penoyre & Prasad, the design “dispels preconceptions of hospitals to create a holistic, child-focused and welcoming environment.”
The hospital is covered with aluminum projections that add a bit of character and help minimize solar heating. In the night, it is a light show, because you can see many colors from the building and street being reflected in the facade. The hospital was completed in 2007 and it has a very clear layout which gives a sense of security, engaging colour schemes and large relaxation and play areas in general. The design allows children to have a textured and engaging experience with a lot of new things to discover and see when they visit, even if they have to go to the hospital many times throughout the year.
Uppsala University Hospital Psychiatric Building – Uppsala, Sweden
This one is not a hospital, but a building within the Uppsala University Hospital campus. The design belongs to the Nordic architectural firm Tengbom who had the privilege of being in charge of the project after winning the design competition in 2007. The designers aimed the design at moving away from an institutional hospital mind-set and instead proposed a bright and cheerful approach with large windows that offer good views and encourage interactions among people.
We will continue talking about these most impressive hospitals in other posts in the future so be sure to stay tuned.