When planning, consider geography in your architecture and design. Doing so will create a facility that reflects practical applications and weather conditions. It will also create a more cohesive healing environment for patients and staff.
Geography Shapes Design
Geography is often a key factor in shaping design and can influence design choices such as color, materials, lighting and the structural elements of a building.
“You want to try to keep it real because when you start to manipulate an environment in an artificial way, it reinforces a disconnect. And we’re trying to establish a connection with the patient,” says Rick Dahl, AIA, a principal at BWBR, an architecture firm with offices in St. Paul, Minnesota and Madison, Wisc.
Select Colors and Design Features that Reflect the Region
Interior designer Kari Thorsen, LEED AP, says the colors within a facility should reflect the colors outside the building. This was the case for the Swedish Medical Center’s inpatient behavioral health unit, which incorporated greys, blues, and creams for finishings throughout the renovation.
Feeling as though you are walking through a forest while walking down a hall helps people get back to nature and especially local nature. To be surrounded by local nature makes the environment feel like home. Those feeling translate to healing.
Source: Sederstrom, Jill. “Consider Geography in Your Architecture and Design.” Behavioral Health Management, Jan. 2016, pp. 29–30.