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.

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