Architecture for Health: Buildings that Heal

“The whole is better than the amount of its portions”; thus Aristotle abridged the bases of holism. It is about examining and considerate the systems as a combined and worldwide set that is, in short, going to establish the behavior of its diverse parts. But he does not believe that this “everything” is only a sum of its parts, but that the synergies between them achieve a much more complex system.

As such, architecture can, therefore, be integrated into a holistic system that tries to respond to different needs of the human being from different perspectives; but today, we want to highlight the concrete relationship of hospital architecture with holistic architecture. In this sense and from the point of view of psychology, Abraham Maslow already spoke of the satisfaction of the needs of his pyramid (physiological, security, social, recognition and self-realization) to achieve complete health, from the point of view of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual view.

Currently, medicine tends to be a holistic discipline, according to which the individual should be treated as a whole and provided with comprehensive health care related to physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, exercise, social relationships and also the habitat. Therefore, today, architecturally speaking, we tend to subscribe to this holistic commitment to health, seeking better visual and spatial quality and greater readability of hospital buildings that may be beneficial for patients.

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Healthcare architecture firms in India firmly trust that curing is possible, in part, through space. To attain an adequate space, we take into account the machinery that will be available, and we always seek the integration of natural light, chromatic and natural and green spaces, both inside the building and around it. The goal is always to improve user comfort. A good sanitary building is one in which the user feels that he is receiving the necessary care without perceiving that he is in a sanitary building”.

Once inside, the chromatic game that welcomes the patient will accompany him through the clinic, identifying each color with a specialty.

For us, scale, light or ventilation are basic elements, but in the well-being of a patient comfort and beauty are also fundamental. For a hospital to have the ability to heal it must be properly organized in architectural terms, but also, as we mentioned before, to be comfortable and to overcome the feeling of confinement that these buildings often cause.

From students, young aspiring architects are intimidated by their teachers when dealing with complex issues, such as prisons, social housing, and hospitals. More seductive are museums, theaters, and cultural centers, where the “artist” can give free rein to their creativity.

Buildings related to health, on the other hand, are among the most complex and technified, since their facilities, networks, special equipment, and spatial relationships must respond to precise requirements and to a host of restrictions that limit, or at least relegate to the background, the expressive value of the work.

However, the rejection that provokes this type of hospital space planning design rests fundamentally on the fear of the unknown and on simple prejudice. Beauty, in this case, is in the right way to respond to the problem; in contributing to the recovery of the patient.

On the other hand, it has been the same hospital architecture that has forgotten its user, in its human dimension, allowing machinist efficiency and procedural asepsis, end up eclipsing those fundamental aspects in the care of a patient, as is its assessment as an individual.