Public vote on hospital designs

Public internet vote to decide hospitals of the future

A survey has shown that a massive 83 per cent of people have had negative experiences of hospital environments. It has also shown that space and light and, to a lesser extent, gardens and outdoor space are important to patients and visitors. The results are from the Healthy Hospitals campaign, launched last year by the Commission for Architecture & the Built Environment and the Royal College of Nursing (HW, 4 December). Four teams of architects were asked for their visions of hospitals of the future. These were put to a public vote via the internet and 700 people responded. Figures showed that 53 per cent of the respondents liked the designs from the company Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall Ltd of Newcastle, which are dominated by space and light. Other priorities included fresh air, gardens and outdoor space. Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall director Ian Clarke said: “We were interested in showing how elements such as natural light and colour, privacy, materials, the relationship to nature and a view all contribute to a calm, supportive environment in a hospital.” CABE chief executive Jon Rouse said 23 hospitals were being built across England and the results of the campaign would be fed to their chief executives and the Government. L CABE and the creative network Arts & Business have announced a scheme to include art in the built environment. Artists and art organisations will be involved in architecture, planning and urban design. Public Art South West will manage the scheme overall and £500,000 will be invested in it over the next two years.

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