Circulation, nature, connection : breaking down institutional barriers to biophilic healing
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Citation:Foote, S. (2015) Circulation, nature, connection : breaking down institutional barriers to biophilic healing. Masters thesis explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fullment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Architecture Professional. Unitec Institute of Technology.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/3250
This research study is concerned with the how the circulation aspects of a hospital can be intentionally designed to enhance patient care. Natural environments have proven to be beneficial to healing and wellbeing. It is possible that circulation space could be the medium used to connect people back to nature within a hospital setting while continuing to provide for all the other requirements of a functional hospital. How these connections to nature might occur within my design will be a mix of direct and visual strategies. This will give the users of the complex the choice of how they want to occupy such a space. Design will be generated by the dual foci of reducing circulation while also obtaining a connection to nature. Visits to hospitals around Auckland reveal a lot of long, internal corridors which provide little or no external reference and have a tendency to disorient the visitor or occupier. Circulation systems in hospitals are usually controlled through the necessary connection of different departments, and focus on control of the spread of infectious diseases. Instead, this study attempts to find an in-between point where users could be given more choices, providing new opportunities to pull away from the dense, repetitive and sterile environment that the public currently perceive. As an example, North Shore Hospital’s circulation is very difficult to “read” for the visitor. The feeling of being locked in corridors with no visual connection or sense of location is very unpleasant. This is a major design problem. This research began with these criticisms, drawing on anecdotal experiences, to develop ideas about how people would prefer to be treated in hospital environments. It is argued by some authorities that nature is beneficial to healing and connection to it can play as important a role in recuperation as the medicine patients receive for their illnesses. This research project focuses on the value of nature to health treatments in the conventional hospital situation and will test different circulation systems and relationships to external landscapes.