DESIGNING FOR WELLNESS AND HEALING


Careful and thoughtful design must go into planning health care interiors. The goal is to provide key interior features that lead to the best patient, staff, and visitor experiences. Every aspect of the project must be considered: aesthetic and technical needs, desires, budget, and patient satisfaction. Designing, though, during a pandemic can be quite challenging.


We wanted to provide a comfortable; warm and welcoming; unintimidating and functional environment for the doctors, staff, patients, and their families and friends. Wellness as well as disease treatment were on top of our minds.


The concept of Biophilia was one of the major inspirations for this hospital design. It is because humans have an inherent desire to connect with nature. Studies have proven that integrating this into the designed environment improves the occupant’s well-being. The outdoors were brought inside through

the suggestive use of natural elements. We tied this design theme in the communal spaces to promote a calming environment for all who enter.



Better Environment, Better Services

In the lobby, we planned to have a concierge and information center. We have a VIP waiting lounge at the Ground Floor where patients can enjoy coffee or have a snack, watch TV, surf the internet, or just relax. We have warm and welcoming seating areas, neutral-colored walls and furniture which makes this appear more sophisticated and helps them feel more at ease.


A round nurse station improves the traffic flow in the Emergency Room. Having this type of nurse station also feels more relaxed and comfortable. Wash stations are strategically placed in between patient beds for convenience.


Each floor has at least two nurse stations to ensure that all patients are being attended to. It is equipped with an open medication room so that the doctors can conveniently converse with the nurses for instructions. It also has its own private treatment area, a cozy pantry and toilet for the nurses.



Unconventional Spaces in a Conventional Setting

We pride ourselves in having added special features that are unique to this hospital. This is the result when you design with the end users in mind. A wellness center is one of the highlights of this hospital. It features a gym, a treatment spa, and a salon.



Another highlight is the Diabetes Center. Everything was built with the patients in mind --- a place specifically for treatment of wounds, a place for children with diabetes, and consultation and medication rooms. This center even has a one-stop-shop so that one can conveniently buy the essentials without leaving! The suggestive use of natural elements was dominant in this center. The colors chosen are neutral. Stone and wood accents were used, as well as a lot of indoor plants.



Of course, there is also a playroom for kids. This is strategically located at the third floor where all the doctor’s clinics are. Kids can play here while waiting for their turn to see their doctor. In designing this area, small toys were eliminated so that the spread of germs and bacteria can be kept to a minimum. Toys that are easy to clean and sanitize were carefully chosen.


There are also pocket prayer rooms where one can find solace in a busy environment.


One of the best and unique things about the hospital are the lounge areas. These are personal pods for the patient’s companion while waiting for the patient’s treatment to finish. There are separate waiting lounges for patients in the ICU, those undergoing surgery, and the like.


The waiting area is divided into three: seating area, entertainment area, and a sleeping pod. The sleeping pod has its individual light, charging station, locked drawers and open storage for luggage.


The concept of Biophilia was one of the major inspirations for this hospital design. It is because humans have an inherent desire to connect with nature.



Home-Like Rooms

For more private areas, such as the hospital rooms, doctor’s quarters and dorms, we went for home-like

interiors. This helps the hospital feel like a second home or health care providers; while being soft and elegant for patients—making the space cozy and unintimidating.


The secret is to achieve a balance between function and aesthetics. Floor to ceiling windows were installed to let more sunlight in. It is believed that sunlight helps in the patient’s healing and well-being. Interior finishes in the bedrooms are durable and easy to clean. Acoustic panels for the ceiling were also incorporated to minimize noise. Seamless vinyl floors with cyclone baseboards were installed to avoid dust and bacteria that might get stuck in the corners and terminations.


APMC has a variety of room types: Premier Suite, Suite, Regular Rooms, Private Rooms, and Wards. Each room has a console table that doubles as a desk, a personal fridge and a cozy sleeper sofa for the patient’s companion. The hospital also has isolation rooms and even an exclusive “pandemic wing”.



The Doctor’s Quarters are comfortable and homey so that the doctors are always well-rested. The quarters can accommodate multiple people but they are designed to have private sleeping areas complete with their own desks and wardrobe cabinets. There is also a separate lounge for the doctors to unwind in.


Similar to the Doctor’s Quarters, a dorm was also designed for the nurses and staff. Each dorm has bunk beds, a lounge for eating, and personal storage areas.



"We wanted to provide a comfortable; warm and welcoming; unintimidating and functional environment for the doctors, staff, patients, and their families and friends. Wellness as well as disease treatment were on top of our minds."


Dine with a View

In the cafeteria, banquet seats with tall backrests serve as a visual barrier to signal social distancing. There are also bar-type dining seats for persons who prefer a more intimate setting, or those who want to dine alone. Those who prefer al fresco can enjoy their meals in the outdoor dining areas. This hospital has several places for dining but probably the best one is the Executive Garden!. You might even forget

you are in a hospital when you dine here! D+C


PRO TIP:

When designing a hospital, or any space, think of the enduser in mind. Go out of the box and think of ways to address problems, improve lifestyle, and create spaces that work. A visit to the hospital should not always be stressful at the end of the day. A hospital should be our ideal place for wellness and healing.


 


WORDS

Idr. Peaches de Guzman - Grey


IMAGES

IDr Peaches Grey, KDG Interiors for Asia Pacific Medical Center, Aklan