2011 - Daylight Symposium
THE HEALING POTENTIAL OF DAYLIGHT IN HOSPITAL SETTINGS by Anne Kathrine Frandsen
Anne Kathrine Frandsen
Architect, PhD and researcher
The Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, DK department of Construction and Health
Within the last twenty years a growing body of scientific documentation has developed suggesting that the physical environment on hospitals have an impact on patients’ and staffs experience of well-being, stress and the general outcome. As Denmark is in the midst of investing and planning hospital facilities replacing the facilities designed and built in the sixties and seventies, this research is especially relevant currently.
The research project ‘Healing architecture’ compiled and reviewed research that links the physical environment on hospitals with patient and staff outcomes. The project addressed the question whether architectural design has a healing potential. The objective was to develop a tool that could give an overview of this research for the building clients and decision-makers responsible for the huge investments in future hospitals and healthcare facilities in the coming decade. Drawing upon phenomenological architectural theory a categorical model was developed that facilitated sorting and communicating the research findings. The project concluded that the research findings can be used to inform the decision-making in the briefing and design process. Especially well documented was the impact of light, sound, views to green outdoor areas on the experience of pain, stress and days of admission as well as on the general well-being of patients. It was therefore concluded that architecture can support the healing process of the individual.
Anne Kathrine Frandsen, Architect, PhD and researcher at The Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University, DK department of Construction and Health. Her research focuses on design processes and the impact these can have on architectural quality and on the healing potential of architectural design. She is one of the main authors of the publication ‘Healing architecture’ an extensive literature study of research linking physical environments on hospitals with patient and staff outcomes and their experience of stress.