The Covert Life of Hospital Architecture

Edited by Julie Zook and Kerstin Sailer


ISBN: 9781800080904

Publication: March 22, 2022

The Covert Life of Hospital Architecture addresses hospital architecture as a set of interlocked, overlapping spatial and social conditions. It identifies ways that planned-for and latent functions of hospital spaces work jointly to produce desired outcomes such as greater patient safety, increased scope for care provider communication and more intelligible corridors.

By advancing space syntax theory and methods, the volume brings together emerging research on hospital environments. Opening with a description of hospital architecture that emphasizes everyday relations, the sequence of chapters takes an unusually comprehensive view that pairs spaces and occupants in hospitals: the patient room and its intervisibility with adjacent spaces, care teams and on-ward support for their work and the intelligibility of public circulation spaces for visitors. The final chapter moves outside the hospital to describe the current healthcare crisis of the global pandemic as it reveals how healthcare institutions must evolve to be adaptable in entirely new ways. Reflective essays by practicing designers follow each chapter, bringing perspectives from professional practice into the discussion.

The Covert Life of Hospital Architecture makes the case that latent dimensions of space as experienced have a surprisingly strong link to measurable outcomes, providing new insights into how to better design hospitals through principles that have been tested empirically. It will become a reference for healthcare planners, designers, architects and administrators, as well as for readers from sociology, psychology and other areas of the social sciences.

Julie Zook is Assistant Professor in the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University.

Kerstin Sailer is Professor in the Sociology of Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

List of figures
List of contributors
Foreword - Jeri Brittin

Chapter 1: The Spatial Dimension of Hospital Life
Julie Zook

Chapter 2: Pillow
Introduction - Julie Zook
The patient and the reciprocal View - Michelle Ossmann
Reflective essay: The evolution of surveillance in hospital design - George Tingwald

Chapter 3: Table
Introduction - Julie Zook
Working together in healthcare space - Rosica Pachilova and Kerstin Sailer
Reflective Essay: Spatial intelligence to support a team-of-teams ecosystem – relevance and need in practice - Upali Nanda

Chapter 4: Hallway
Introduction - Julie Zook
The visitor and hospital corridor design - Julie Zook and Sonit Bafna
Reflective Essay: Designing a Human-Centred Hospital Wayfinding System - Carlo Giannasca

Chapter 5: Outlook
The social logic of spaces for health: The relational hospital as a response to COVID-19 - Kerstin Sailer


Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

192 Pages

51 colour illustrations

Copyright: © 2022

ISBN: 9781800080904

Publication: March 22, 2022

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