IFJ|July - August 2020
hospital design, while always important, is now under the scanner during the global pandemic
aadrita chatterji

Hospitals, with their varied functions, several departments and 24/7 operation, were always spaces that needed intelligent design. Now, as the world battles the Coronavirus pandemic, the infrastructure of such facilities has come under incredible amounts of stress, making the field of hospital design even more challenging and relevant.

What are the first thoughts that come to mind when designing a hospital project? Many factors must be considered when designing a medical facility, like regulation of smooth movement of people around the space, says Ar. Manoj Choudhury, Director, Edifice Consultants, Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai. “Incorporating universal design principles, an empathetic architecture and contextuality are as indispensable as designing the tangible spaces.” Ar. Srijit Srinivas, Founder, Srijit Srinivas Architects, Trivandrum says, “Crossover of patients and services should be minimized in general hospitals, and there should be a standalone structure to function during an emergency as well.”

For Ar. Sandeep Shikre, Founder, Sandeep Shikre and Associates, Mumbai, the provision of natural light is an important consideration. He explains, “Hospitals should be planned to optimize daylight as nature plays a pivotal role in healing patients. Besides large windows, superior indoor air quality, adequate lighting and proper acoustics should be given due attention. Finally, a warm ambience with the thoughtful use of colors and textures goes a long way in aiding both medical staff and patients.”

Ar. Shamit Manchanda of Manchanda Associates, sums it up, “A well designed hospital is not only limited to catering to the infrastructural needs of providing healthcare services but also plays an important role in patient recovery and well-being.”

There should also be no compromise when it comes to accommodating ancillary facilities. Ar. Shilpa Jain Balvally, Partner, Studio Osmosis, Mumbai, says, “There must be adequate provision made for reception areas, family lounges and waste management spaces as they often get sacrificed due to space constraints.”

The eternal bête noire, budget limitations can also prove to be an obstacle, and necessitate certain changes. According to Ar. Kshititi Nagarkar, Principal Architect, Shree Designs, Mumbai, “Spaces are now being designed from a vendor-neutral perspective so that the client can predict costs based on their choices.”


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July - August 2020