Monthly Archives: July 2010

CABE publications

uk think tank the centre for architecture and the built environment has done quite some excellent work advocating for thoughtfully designed healthcare spaces. you can download official publications in PDF from their website here. i recommend designed with care radical improvements in hospital design and future health as accessible, quite important documents to start with. the website has additional resources, and three pages of of case studies well worth taking a look at.

london's greenwich millennium health centre, via CABE case studies


ku64/graft architects

berlin dental clinic ku64 takes dental facility planning to a place i never thought it would go. the immersive environment, crafted by berlin/beijing/la design firm graft, goes beyond decor and into installation, transporting patients to a shiny yellow land from a futuristic 1970s comic book. nothing about the office references traditional notions of dentists offices, and for this, i think it is smart. however, i can’t help but feel the landscape is so foreign in it’s lack of references to traditional anything-at-all, that many patients would feel disoriented and a bit disconcerned.

more photographs of KU 64 can be seen here on the unofficial graft flickr page, along side images of another slightly more traditional berlin dental clinic they designed, called the dental lounge.

Circle Bath

one of the newest examples of media darling “starchiects” jumping on board the healthcare commission train with stunning results. circle bath is an extraordinary facility in bath designed by norman foster. the homepage of the hospital prominently features an eight minute from BBC scotland’s “culture show” on brand name architects working to destigmatize and humanize the patient experience in sleek new facilities that take the majority of their cues from the hospitality industry, without completely forgetting the community aspect of healthcare. the show opens with a declaration that hospitals previously had “more to do with illness than recovery, but that’s all changing with the creeping liberalization of healthcare provision. health is suddenly hot and superstar architects have suddenly become attracted.” according to the culture show the space is “littered with art” curated by the contemporary art society and in waiting rooms “the smell of cappuccino replaces the smell of disinfectant.” it also emphasizes a fact i have seen elsewhere, that there are absolutely no way traditional finding signs in the hospital, a luxury made possible by its hearty staff size and small patient size, with just 28 inpatient bedrooms. circle bath is a physician owned private hospital with a goal of having 30% of their patients NHS patients. additional media coverage is far from scarce, with features in mass media, architectural publications, and trendsetting blogs touting its reinvention of the hospital. prominent stories from march of this year can be seen in this bbc article and video, guardian article. foster has been commissioned by bath to design a new facility in didsbury, manchester, scheduled for completion in 2012.