Creating Spaces That Make Us Happier And Healthier
The University of Arizona Cancer Center in Phoenix is one of the winners of the National Healthcare Design Award from the American Institute of Architects.
Judges cited the metal screens on the outside of the building, as providing both shade and a sense of privacy, as well as dappled lighting and the use of wood and stone inside the building.
Hospitals and other health care facilities are spending more time now thinking about things like this.
"Hospitals used to be institutions with white walls, white ceilings, white floors," said Chad Beebe, an architect with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association. "Now, they're trying to make them look a little bit more home-like, trying to foster a better healing environment to address the needs of the patients."
Now, it’s not just hospitals that are thinking about this sort of thing. Architects and planners in all kinds of fields are looking to make buildings and other spaces better for our well-being.
"We would like the design of each building to have learned from previous buildings of that type," said Nancy Wells, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University and an environmental psychologist.
For example, buildings that encourage physical activity might have central stairways that are pleasant to use.