Health

Empathetic design can help us solve the unprecedented  challenges facing our healthcare communities across the world.

“Health and wellness precincts require more than just hospitals to heal. The future is about mixed-use health precincts serving patients and their families, careers, medical innovators and amenity providers.”

Edwina Bennett
Edwina Bennett

Associate Principal

Explore Health Projects

Designing for Wellness

 

Healthcare campuses with welcoming architecture have the potential to become community spaces that encourage the public to stay healthy.

When designing our healthcare spaces – impacted as they are by constant growth in need, technological “disruption” and instances of “surge” – it is imperative that we define parameters to be able to respond to community and user need. We work with clinicians, managers and administrators to determine views on future need and likely disruptors. We analyse outcomes of these discussions with engineers and design partners and define design rules which we believe will account for client needs and scenarios and those that cannot be predicted but can be expected, in this new pandemic climate. This sets the building blocks for strategic planning and masterplanning. It also sets the precedent for precinct scale analysis and flexible responses to these new community hubs.
What started with a focus on health workplace and subsequent COVID era disruption response, has expanded into a higher level approach to linking into precincts, placemaking and building communities around integrated health/research/education/commercial models. We consider the design of Health precincts for all stakeholders.

Flexible Processes: Flexible Facilities

 

Healthcare architecture is built for today and for tomorrow. It should not be confined by a fixed structure, but instead adhere to the principles of flexibility, connectivity, and a sense of place. Technologies and techniques are constantly evolving and our designs need to be able to facilitate and support these innovations.

Patients’ needs and technology for treatment change rapidly and lead to new modes of operation. One significant change in recent years is the use of telemedicine – from remote patient monitoring to virtual doctor visits – to minimise inpatient stay and improve outcomes. Patients also increasingly ask for healthcare facilities that emphasise a sense of calmness and wellness.

As telemedicine changes the way medical staff work, replacing the traditional physician-centric model with the open-platform team-care model, more flexible working spaces are required. A smart system of healthcare spaces, such as standardised physician pods and compact patient examination rooms that can be easily re-arranged and refitted, will meet this requirement.

The open-platform team-care model requires medical staff and patients to be able to share data and resources. Healthcare architecture should be embedded with mobile technology to support connectivity between the medical institution and the public.

The architecture of these facilities delivers an ambience of calmness and wellness using an “on-stage/off-stage” design approach. Medical staff work areas are hidden from visitors’ view so as not to evoke stress and improve efficiency. Working spaces and public areas are designed to be acoustically quiet, calming and personal to create a sense of place.

Approach

A data-driven health platform

Critical to our approach is integration of nuanced data analysis of space and experience. Our design and analytics teams are fully integrated beyond simply applying a standard set of measurements to working with our clients and partners to design smarter spaces and systems.