Innovation That Matters

The units keep clear distinctions between public, private, and emergency health care zones | Photo source Yuexin Yu and Dessery Dai

Hospital design brings the feel of home to ICUs

Architecture & Design

Temporary living units allow family members to stay close to patients in critical condition

Spotted: Home During Sickness are critical care living units that received honourable mention in the Adaptability category of the 2020 Arch Out Loud architecture awards. Designed by architects Yuexin Yu and Dessery Dai, the units were created in response to the millions of people left isolated in intensive care hospital spaces while receiving care for COVID-19. Instead, the Home During Sickness structures provide family living facilities next to the emergency room of each patient.

By allowing family members to stay close by, the patients receive more comfort and experience reduced feelings of stress. Family members that were banned completely due to pandemic health restrictions or required to travel back and forth often multiple times a day save time, money and stress. They, too, can experience something closer to normal home life while coping with the health emergency of a loved one.

The units keep clear distinctions between public, private, and emergency health care zones, and the layout provides for safe, socially distanced travel between areas for both family members and hospital staff. Arch Out Loud’s HOME architecture competition invited designers to consider “ideas of domestic architecture for the future.”

As the requirements for caregiving shift, rapidly and unexpectedly, creators are reacting with designs to help alleviate as much of the discomfort, inconvenience and inefficiency as possible. A children’s hospital designed with input from a Patient Family Advisory Council includes soft colours and a focus on natural light. Drive through clinics in hospital car parks provide care in a comfortable environment, increasing safety for both clinicians and patients and means of accessing care for those unable to use telemedicine.

Written by: Keely Khoury



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