What is healthcare architecture and why is it important?
Though rational considerations of layout and clinical processes are frequently prioritized, healthcare architecture isn’t comprehensive if it does not consider the human experience. People generally experience healthcare architecture at their most vulnerable moments, and it becomes the mission of designers to provide comfort and reassurance for these people. Most of us are born in a hospital, and many spend their last days in one as well. We interact and rely on the healthcare system, yet in many cases the experiential and personal quality of these environments is overlooked.
I was initially drawn to the complexity of the field of healthcare design; the merging of technical and poetic resolution, where each project is a puzzle of functional relations, with its own unique solution. In academia and practice, we frequently discuss the importance of bringing humanity to these spaces; the sensitive nature of events and emotions that occur in these rooms. We talk about the patient and staff experience of the environments we design, hoping to bring the highest level of satisfaction to both parties without compromising the design intent. While working at Payette, I had the opportunity to experience and understand first-hand what healthcare architecture is about, and why it is important; while technical aspects of design are vital, the human experience of patients and staff is at the heart of our work.