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Vol. 20 No. 2 (2022): New Horizons: Innovation in Medicine

Rethinking Modern Hospital Architecture Through COVID-19

June 7, 2021


Lately, the premier ateliers of contemporary architecture -- such as Herzog & de Meuron, or the Office of Metropolitan Architecture -- are showing increasing interest in hospital design, once the realm of highly specialized architectural firms. This trend towards reevaluating hospital design and architecture is most opportune, as the COVID-19 pandemic urges us all to rethink the ways in which our healthcare institutions can be better designed. This commentary is a discussion on the emerging issues of contemporary hospital architecture, especially as reinforced by the pandemic. For instance, while hospital architecture today focuses on individualized care, providing each patient with hotel-like rooms, the pandemic has reminded us of the issue of capacity and inequality in these limited and costly spaces. To what extent should hospitals be centralized or decentralized? Specialized or despecialized? This commentary discusses how COVID-19 has provided insight into some of contemporary hospital architecture’s greatest problems; specifically, it argues that the hospital of the future must exist on a more decentralized platform, both physically and digitally, and be more flexible in function.


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