Architecture is not a static thing; instead, the way we conceive of and build certain spaces evolves over time. Some events can prompt radical changes in the way certain spaces are designed — the ongoing pandemic might be one such moment. But there are other considerations afoot that are also prompting designers and architects to rethink sickness, health and the spaces used to address both.
In a new article for Metropolis, Kyle Chayka — no stranger to the convergence of design and philosophy — explored the way high-end healthcare is being re-imagined through the efforts of a number of architects. Chayka focuses on the efforts of the design firm Cactus and their work, especially their goals for the in-progress Center for Health + Performance, slated to open in 2023.
“The intention is for patients to satisfy a variety of personal health and wellness needs under one roof,” Chayka writes. This might include sound baths, a gym facility and even a cannabis bar — a kind of one-stop shop for a variety of self-care measures.
The work Chayka describes isn’t the only instance of designers blending cutting-edge technology and experiential design with the ancient arts of healing. A discussion earlier in the year covered by Jesse Dorris at Interior Design used the pandemic to bring together a number of designers to share their thoughts on what healthcare spaces could become.
Among the fascinating points raised there came from Angela Holcomb of tvsdesign. “I think social distancing is an interesting phenomenon… Moving forward, will spaces like pre-op bays be designed with just cubicle curtains?” Holcomb said. “I think hospitals will desire spaces to be flexible to accommodate pandemic patients, so the bay with just a curtain may be replaced with hard walls between patients.”
Whether grappling with a pandemic or efficiently bringing together disparate health services, thinking outside the box can lead to rewarding solutions. Even better, though, is the fact that these solutions can save lives and make for healthier patients — goals which are critically important at any time.
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