Introducing Awestruck Biophilic Design - bringing the outdoors indoors through the exploration of wellbeing

How to Incorporate Biophilic Design into a Health Care Setting?

A lot of people associate or consider medical environments to be unsettling or can make a patient feel nervous. Although, research has shown that these negative connotations can be alleviated when we engage with nature. 

Biophilic Design can be incorporated into health care places such as; hospital wards, waiting rooms and surgeries by providing both physical and psychological benefits to all people – patients, visitors and staff. Biophilic spaces can reduce stress and anxiety levels through making their resting and working environment more welcoming and relaxing to be in. Also, by improving staff well-being, absences and medical errors can be reduced.

Image Credit | Shannon McGrath - Bendigo Hospital | Bendigo, Australia

Bendigo Hospital | Bendigo, Australia Image Credit | Shannon McGrath

So how do you incorporate Biophilia into healthcare settings?

Optimising Natural Light

Optimise natural light to create a more stimulating space. You can achieve this through installing skylights and adding reflective surfaces to bounce natural light throughout the interior.

Monterey Community Hospital - Round Skylights Photo Credit - Heather David Monterey Community Hospital - Round Skylights Photo Credit - Heather David

(2 Above) Monterey Community Hospital, Round Skylights. Photo Credit - Heather David

Florida Hospital for Women in Orlando, Florida by VOA (Stantec). Category: Hospital - Women's. Image courtesy of the IIDA.

Florida Hospital for Women in Orlando, Florida by VOA (Stantec). Category: Hospital - Women's. Image courtesy of the IIDA.

Biophilic Illusions

Biophilic illusions are powerful experiences that alter the original nature imagery, as the illusion can engage the organs perception, but can also be designed to affect both our psychological and physiological responses to enclosed interiors. This can lead to a more positive health outcome.

Unlike realistic natural images, visual biophilic illusions can have an added dimension. These illusions can trigger memories to prior experiences.

Sky Mural Ceiling Panels - Ashley Timms fine arts and technology company, Sky Factory. They design and manufacture the only research-verified illusions of sky™ and illusions of nature™ for enclosed commercial spaces.

Fine arts and technology company,Sky Factory. They design and manufacture the only research-verified illusions of sky™ and illusions of nature™ for enclosed commercial spaces.

Indirect references of nature

Incorporate indirect references of nature through artwork such paintings, photography, natural patterns (Fibonacci sequence) and textures. This can help to stimulate the senses and help to strengthen our connection to nature, which can reduce stress levels and heart rates.

Wayfinding Solution for the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne by Buro North Photography: Fraser Marsden

Wayfinding Solution for the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne by Buro North Photography: Fraser Marsden

https://www.treepack.net/projects.html

The Royal Children's Hospital - Interiors Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Designed by Bates Smart and Billard Leece Partnership

The Royal Children's Hospital - Interiors Parkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Designed by Bates Smart and Billard Leece Partnership

Improve Air Quality

Improve air quality to create a healthier environment. This could be done by incorporating plants and living walls which create air variations and balances up the air moisture indifferences. These are crucial benefits for our health and wellbeing.

Mikyoung Kim, a 2015 AD innovator, created the vibrant and healing Crown Sky Garden for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Mikyoung Kim, a 2015 AD innovator, created the vibrant and healing Crown Sky Garden for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

Bright white clinic by Ryutaro Matsuura with concealed windows and patios Photography is by Nacasa & Partners.

Bright white clinic by Ryutaro Matsuura with concealed windows and patios Photography is by Nacasa & Partners.

Shengavit Medical Centre - Designed by Archangel Architectural Studio, photos by Sona Manukyan and Ani Avagyan

Shengavit Medical Centre - Designed by Archangel Architectural Studio, photos by Sona Manukyan and Ani Avagyan

Enhance Views onto Nature

You can enhance views of nature by considering where to place desks, seating and hospital beds near windows. Enjoyable views have the ability to reduce your stress levels, which can improve patients recovery rate and staff job satisfaction.

Architecture Photography: AIA Selects Four Projects for National

Architecture Photography: AIA Selects Four Projects for National 

Venice-Mestre Hospital (Ospedale dell’Angelo Mestre – Angel Hospital)Newly planted in 2009, photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.

Venice-Mestre Hospital (Ospedale dell’Angelo Mestre – Angel Hospital)Newly planted in 2009, photo ©Enrico Cano, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz.

Reduce Excessive Noise

Reduce excessive noise through the use of natural materials and plants which are good sound absorbers. They can really help to create a softer environment for visitors, staff and patients.

WIMMERA UNITING CARE - WIMMERA REGION, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIAWIMMERA UNITING CARE - WIMMERA REGION, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

Wimmera Uniting Care- Wimmera Region, Victoria, Australia

Access to Outdoor Spaces

Create and improve access to outdoors spaces through healing gardens. This can give patients an uplifting space where they can experience direct contact with nature. An example of this could be forest bathing which is used to improve both your physical and mental wellbeing. Breathing phytoncides (a substance emitted by plants and tress) can improve nervous functions and stabilise hormonal secretion.

The Landscape Spaces of Nelson Mandela Children`s Hospital Photography | Courtesy of GREENinc Landscape Architecture

The Landscape Spaces of Nelson Mandela Children`s Hospital Photography | Courtesy of GREENinc Landscape Architecture

Kronstad Psychiatric Hospital / Origo Arkitektgruppe  Photography by Pål Hoff

Kronstad Psychiatric Hospital / Origo Arkitektgruppe  Photography by Pål Hoff

A great Health care example that incorporates Biophilic Design into their healthcare facility are Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital.

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital are living proof on the idea that designing an environment which connects people to nature can really enhance your health and wellbeing. Through Biophilic design, the hospitals enable direct contact with nature, materials and colours representative of nature, as well as spatial features characteristic of the natural environment.

Khoo Tech Puat Hospital

  • Opened in June 2010
  • Energy savings – 33% less energy used than in conventional hospitals.
  • They have a waterfall in the central garden courtyard of the hospital.
  • Planter boxes outside the wards and a bird on bird fishing perch in yishun pond which is adjacent to the hospital.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a 550-bed replacement hospital on a 3.5-hectare urban site in northern Singapore. Photography by  RMJM
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a 550-bed replacement hospital on a 3.5-hectare urban site in northern Singapore. Photography by  RMJM
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a 550-bed replacement hospital on a 3.5-hectare urban site in northern Singapore. Photography by  RMJM
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a 550-bed replacement hospital on a 3.5-hectare urban site in northern Singapore. Photography by  RMJM
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a 550-bed replacement hospital on a 3.5-hectare urban site in northern Singapore. Photography by  RMJM
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a 550-bed replacement hospital on a 3.5-hectare urban site in northern Singapore. Photography by  RMJM

    Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital

    • Opened in June 2015
    • Energy Savings – 30% less energy used than in conventional hospitals.
    • More than $5 million savings in electricity bills annually.
    • Nearly $100,000 in water savings annually.

    There is a healing garden that links two hospitals together where ICU patients can be wheeled out to enjoy fresh air and greenery. They have planters outside the hospital.

    Jurong Health Mobility park is an outdoor rehabilitative space which simulates real life street environments such as pedestrian crossings, walkways with different surfaces, ramps, steps and roadside curbs. The park also contains a sensory garden with herbs and plants at the height of wheelchair users, to heighten patients sense of touch, feel and smell.

     Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - Jurong, Singapore Designed by CPG Consultants Pte Ltd HOK studio505

     Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - Jurong, Singapore Designed by CPG Consultants Pte Ltd HOK studio505

     Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - Jurong, Singapore Designed by CPG Consultants Pte Ltd HOK studio505

     Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - Jurong, Singapore Designed by CPG Consultants Pte Ltd HOK studio505

     Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - Jurong, Singapore Designed by CPG Consultants Pte Ltd HOK studio505

     Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital - Jurong, Singapore Designed by CPG Consultants Pte Ltd HOK studio505

    If you enjoyed this blog post and want to enhance your knowledge further in Biophilic design. Sign up NOW to our Awestruck Biophilic Workshops where we will be looking at how to incorporate the Biophilic patterns and design in to your interior.

    Click on the link below to book your place

    https://harleenmclean.kartra.com/page/AwestruckBiophilicWorkshops