Enero Arquitectura’s glossary for good healthcare architecture I
It is often necessary to create a glossary to explain all the of terms, words and expressions that define fields of knowledge. At ENERO Arquitectura we have selected eight terms, by way of a brief glossary, to define our concept of healthcare architecture. Here, we explain our particular vision of architecture and highlight the concepts that make up our hallmark. Through these words and concepts we ensure that each of our projects is unique and responds to the needs of an ever-changing society. The ENERO Arquitectura team has collaborated in the creation and development of this glossary that we will present in several chapters. Here the first part.
If there is one concept that comes to mind when we think of architecture, it is undoubtedly design. It is clear to us that the well-being of the end user, in a hospital, laboratory, hotel or a home, as well as the combination of the latest technologies and the most innovative techniques, are the key to designing projects. These go beyond medical services and also include lifestyle and sports services.
At ENERO Arquitectura #wedesignthewhere thanks to a young, dynamic, and interdisciplinary team that brings together specialists from different professional backgrounds. Each member of our team adheres to the highest standards in our projects and in the design process. Because of this, we achieve efficiency in both.
Our focus on building long-term relationships with clients enables us to delve into new concepts and solutions in order to adapt architecture to each situation. We are committed to functionality and coherence, as well as design to create attractive spaces with unique personalities.
Some of our projects have won several awards because of this way of thinking about design. Cordoba QuironSalud Hospital received “Honourable Mention” at the 12th edition of the prestigious Yuanye Awards, organised by the Chinese media company Global Design. This recognition rewards excellence in architectural and urban design worldwide. The University Hospital of Collado Villalba received the Design & Health International Academy “Highly Commended” award in 2013.
Olympia, the Medical Centre for Care and Health optimisation, is another example of how to integrate different medical specialties and the most innovative technology for comprehensive patient care in a unique environment. The centre is specially designed to provide users with maximum comfort and well-being in various care and rehabilitation processes. It offers an innovative service that integrates sports medicine, lifestyle, and a medical centre in a single space.
Humanisation defines ENERO Arquitectura’s healthcare architecture. We create friendly and universal spaces designed on a human scale and consider the special requirements of patients, their companions, and healthcare professionals.
A good example of this concept is the Cordoba Quironsalud Hospital. In this project, the design of its spaces improves the patient experience and health outcomes during the care process. This promotes better and faster recovery.
At Quironsalud Madrid University Hospital, the concept of humanisation has led us to create new places of tranquillity so that patients, families, and the centre’s own professionals can find moments of peace and quiet within the dynamics of the hospital.
In the Quironsalud Madrid University Hospital extension, we designed specific spaces so that paediatric patients and their families can better manage social interaction and play along with moments of privacy. We also designed quiet and study spaces for hospitalised adolescents.
This term was coined by medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky in the 1970s. Salutogenesis is the study of the origin of health and the factors that support human health and well-being. At ENERO Arquitectura, we design spaces beyond mere functionality and approach each project from the point of view of salutogenesis.
This way of designing focuses on developing health and hospital centres where both patients and workers can thrive in a space that helps to maintain their well-being. These are some of the resources we employ in designing stimulating environments that foster the ability to cope with uncertainty and stress, based on the concepts of Professor Alan Dilani, founder of the International Academy of Design:
- Spaces for privacy and social interaction, paying special attention to the development of privacy areas, as well as meeting and recreation areas that harmonise social interaction.
- Natural environments, which positively affect people’s well-being while providing a sense of calm and tranquillity.
- The use of natural light, which is important to good health, is present in various spaces and allows patients and workers to manage circadian rhythms and the effects of light and darkness as much as possible.
- Harmonious colours, shapes, and textures allow patients to understand their environment in a coherent, recognisable, and structured way.
- Location and landmarks give the individual a sense of control and orientation in every space.
- Sound absorption and avoidance. Excessive noise, which is often associated with increased stress levels, sleep disruption, and poor communication, hinders patient recovery.
In the design of the Quironsalud Madrid University Hospital extension, this concern for the well-being and integral health of patients is evident, particularly in the maternity and children’s area. The interior spaces have been designed according to human-scale special requirements which enhance the well-being of expectant mothers, children, and parents.
Focussing on the factors that improve patients’ health, while stimulating their abilities to positively face situations that are not always favourable, has become one of the fundamental pillars of ENERO Arquitectura’s healthcare architecture.
To achieve sustainability in our projects, the use of natural light, as well as the importance of orientation in each of the spaces are the main strategies.
In the Collado Villalba General University Hospital, 86% of the building uses natural light and renewable energies, achieving energy and water savings. In addition, materials from earthworks were reused and more than 2,200 indigenous trees were reforested.
Other projects, such as the Cordoba Quironsalud Hospital, seek to adapt to the location and climatic conditions by proposing active and passive systems that enable energy savings. Here, as a distinctive external element, a metal lattice is like a second skin, which envelops the building, regulates light and provides optimal energy conditions. This improves the thermal efficiency of the building by controlling sunlight and regulating natural light.
At ENERO Arquitectura we design with sustainability in mind, one of the pillars that will be the backbone of the hospitals of the future. We take advantage of the strengths of each building and think about how to extend their useful lives. We include not only passive strategies but also active structures that generate clean energy. Solar panels and geothermal energy are some of the strategies that enable us to achieve energy and economic savings in our latest projects. Geothermal energy is fully integrated into the building, free of any visual disturbance or noise impact, and harnesses the consistent ground temperature as an energy source.