If your hospital suddenly feels more like an Apple store or greenhouse, biophilic design is why

Nate Berg - Click Here

Healthcare spaces are increasingly using nature as a way to make their buildings better for patients.

Among a certain subset of designers, there’s a growing feeling that the more natural a space is, the better. So-called biophilic design, or design that integrates nature and natural processes, is making its way into the world of architecture and urban development. In architecture, biophilia is seen as a way to make people happier and healthier by building nature into their daily lives, even when they’re in a city.

It’s a concept that’s particularly relevant in healthcare spaces like hospitals and clinics. Wellness and patient healing have been repeatedly shown to have close connections with the way spaces are designedthe amount of natural daylight they’re exposed to, even the views hospital rooms offer patients.

More and more, healthcare facilities are being designed with biophilic concepts from the start.

“We know that when people have better access to green space, natural areas, areas for rest and respite, places that might be away from cars, traffic, and noise, especially in urban centers, mental and physical health improve,” says Anjulie Palta, an urban designer at the architecture firm Cooper Robertson who’s focused on healthcare campus design. “There’s a huge opportunity for a hospital and its land holdings to capitalize on fulfilling its mission, and really its imperative, to address public health outcomes.”