Hospitals as a building type have undergone a substantial evolution in the past years. Changes in healthcare, the impact of evidence-based medicine and aspects of healthcare economics (such as the clustering of diagnostic procedures in specialized clinics) pose new and different challenges for the designer. Private healthcare facilities herald the paradigm change from the large functional building complex to a design-conscious health institution with luxury hotel features. Health centers more devoted to prevention rather than cure have been another important trend.
Hospitals. A Design Manual wishes to inform architects, hospital administrators and planners, medical specialists and policy makers about these latest trends in hospital architecture. It aims to be a tool for change instead of being an instrument enabling retrospective perfection. It follows the same template of other manuals in the series: a selection of forty projects is preceded by a number of chapters that focus on the components that are characteristic for this type of building. In this manual, the term ‘design’ necessarily exceeds the realm of spatial configuration, the use of materials, color, the shape of spaces, windows, doors, and furniture. We present the hospital as a composition of components each of which can be designed in various ways with different impacts on the way they perform. This is a book of choices many of which are determined by programmatic decisions. Weighing the various options is an essential part of hospital architecture and, therefore, of the architect’s job. There is no way to unravel all the aspects of buildings as diverse and complex as hospitals. Therefore, we concentrate on people and processes rather than on medicine and technology. Taking care of people and optimizing the way the processes they are subjected to are constant concerns in hospitals, no matter how fast and fundamental medicine and technology tend to change. We offer no standard solutions. Each hospital represents a unique combination of design solution that is determined by their specific context: characteristics of the population, demographic trends, healthcare systems, economic realities, etc. If we succeed in heightening the awareness of the many questions architects and decision makers have to consider this book has served its purpose.
Cor Wagenaar, Noor Mens in samenwerking met CEANconsulting
“Zodra de nieuwbouw/herbouw van het Medisch Centrum Alkmaar afgerond is, dan is een groot deel van het resultaat aan CEAN te danken. Prima gedaan.”
Harry Luik, voorzitter Raad van Bestuur Medisch Centrum Alkmaar – Gemini Groep