Home' Commercial : WAs Best Commercial Designs 2011 Contents 184 WA’s Best Commercial Designs 2011
Collaboration, which has the evidence-based philosophy at its design heart.
“Over the past 10 to 15 years, Roger Ulrich, a professor at Texas A&M University,
has helped prove that a better facility equates to better patient outcomes,”
Morag says. “People who are more comfortable and less stressed recover faster.
This has led to major changes in the architecture of health facilities.”
Edwin Bollig agrees. “Aged-care and health accommodation has
undergone major design changes, with the focus on recreation, lifestyle,
comfort, environment and provision of health services all provided within a
consciously inviting and non-clinically perceived environment.”
DeFiddesign specialises in aged-care facilities. Managing director Debbie de
Fiddes believes an aged-care building “should be designed to ensure comfort,
mobility and accessibility. When a resident is comfortable they are more likely
to interact, do things for themselves and remain active and mentally healthy”.
Evidence-based design evaluates the impact of specific designs on
productivity, employee and patient morale, and patient outcome. It isn’t just
the preserve of health facilities – it has been adopted in schools, universities,
libraries and prisons, all of which are becoming user-friendly institutions.
John Crabtree, managing principal of Hassell in Perth (also part of the Fiona
Stanley Hospital Design Collaboration), adds that “institutional buildings
are no longer designed to meet a generic brief. Institutional clients are now
requiring ‘outcome-based’ designs that respond to regional, cultural, and
environmental influence, along with design solutions that reflect best practice
and the embodiment of sustainability and technology”.
DE-INSTITUTIONALISING THE INSTITUTION
Natural light, landscaped gardens and pleasant interior design all have a role
to play in making institutions comfortable for the occupants and the staff.
Debbie deFiddes believes this is particularly pertinent to aged-care centres.
“We are designing areas such as theatre rooms and cafes, and even in some
cases playgrounds, in order to encourage family and friends to use the facility
and interact more with family members,” she explains.
According to Morag Lee, natural light in healthcare facilities is important
not only for patients – where it is conducive to a healing environment – but
also for clinicians and staff, who operate in a highly stressful environment
and often start and finish work in the dark. It’s for these reasons that the new
Fiona Stanley Hospital has been designed to maximise natural daylight rather
than relying on the harsh overhead lighting of institutions of the past.
Similarly, 83 per cent of the bedrooms in the hospital will accommodate
just one person. “There is a large bank of evidence supporting the fact that
single bedrooms have a positive effect on patient outcomes,” says Morag.
TOP The planned exterior of the Fiona Stanley Hospital, a project that
makes the most of evidence-based design principles. ABOVE The hospital
interior, with a focus on making the most of natural lighting.
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