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Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai April 13 , 2024
Hospital design process must prioritise the creation of spaces that not only facilitate medical care but also comfort amidst potentially daunting circumstances. Hospitals are not mere buildings but dynamic ecosystems where patients, families, medical professionals, and visitors converge, says Parul Agarwal, co-founder and director, Renascent Consultants. 

Renascent Consultants is an architectural, engineering, town planning and interior design consultancy firm with principal focus on the verticals of healthcare architecture, medical education, healthcare planning - technical consultancy services, medical education architecture, university education and institutional architecture.

She further adds that in healthcare design, crafting spaces that seamlessly merge aesthetics with functionality is paramount. These environments transcend mere structures, serving as catalysts for healing and well-being. Architects, driven by a commitment to patient-centric design, navigate a nuanced landscape where every element serves a purpose. Hence, a design philosophy must fit the current and future requirements. It must be based on functionality, efficiency, flexibility, sustainability and aesthetics which fits perfectly with the current and future requirements.

“Achieving this delicate equilibrium requires a multifaceted approach. It begins with a thorough site analysis, considering natural light, ventilation, and access to green spaces. These elements play a crucial role in fostering healing environments that support the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of patients and staff alike,” Agarwal explains.

Achieving this balance is tricky and a skill in itself. Architects and designers must navigate a complex landscape of needs – ensuring efficient workflows for medical staff, optimal accessibility for patients with varying abilities, and stringent infection control measures. However, this pursuit of practicality should not overshadow the needs of the human experience.  Designers must consider factors like natural light, colour palettes, and artwork, all of which contribute to a more positive and calming environment.

Sustainability emerges as a cornerstone of modern hospital design, with green building practices woven into the fabric of architectural planning. From energy-efficient systems to recycled materials, each decision reflects a commitment to both patient well-being and environmental stewardship. "Our goal is to create structures that are not only visually appealing but also intelligent and sustainable," explains Agarwal, highlighting her dedication to timeless design principles.

The design extends far beyond patient rooms. Public areas such as waiting rooms and cafeterias play a crucial role in reducing stress and creating a sense of community.  Careful consideration is given to acoustics, ensuring a calming atmosphere.  Access to outdoor spaces, even small courtyards, can offer a much-needed connection to nature and fresh air. For Parul Agarwal, integrating biophilic elements in hospitals and medical institutions enhances healing environments and reduces monotony, fostering connections with nature to promote well-being and accelerate patient recovery.

Dushyant Kumar with his structural expertise focuses on optimising architectural layouts to maximise space efficiency, streamline patient care pathways, and facilitate smooth operational workflows for medical staff. With a focus on practicality and precision, he ensures that structural elements are seamlessly integrated to enhance the functionality and effectiveness of healthcare environments.

“Hospital design is a constantly evolving field. Architects embrace cutting-edge technologies such as biophilic design principles that incorporate natural elements. By prioritising human-centred design, sustainability, and continuous innovation, architects can create spaces transcending simply treating illness. Interdisciplinary collaboration with healthcare professionals and researchers allows for the integration of evidence-based design strategies, ensuring spaces are aesthetically pleasing and demonstrably improve patient outcomes,” Agarwal says.

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