A hospital in Singapore has harnessed the healing power of plants and incorporated greenery into their design. The Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is leading the way for biophilic architecture to be brought into healthcare environments and is arguably one of the most green hospitals in Asia. A competition took place with the original brief calling for the hospital to be a 'healing environment,' and the design team from CPG Consultants were inspired by early research into environmental psychology, including biophilia. The team were crowned as the winners, with their innovative concept sketch consisting of a V-shaped configuration of buildings with green areas throughout where patients could access plants, water and other aspects of nature.
Source: Human Spaces
One of the main features of this magnificent building is the Green Court. With a purposeful 'forest-like' design, the court is abundant with plants and aquatic species that attract butterflies and birds. Its stunning water features offer patients a relaxing atmosphere and scented plants adorned the upper levels near the patients' wards. Plants have been proven to ease the symptoms of fatigue and headaches and also can improve conditions such as dry skin, sore throats and colds so including them within a hospital design makes perfect sense.
Dr Nirmal Kishanani, Vice Dean at the School of Design and Environment at National Singapore University, was part of the team that designed this incredible building. He stated that since the hospital's conception seven years ago, it has continually been loved by workers and patients alike. "It consistently out-performs all other hospitals in Singapore in the annual Ministry of Health public satisfaction survey," he said, "Results of the 2016 study suggest that this preference, at least in part, is linked to the quality of its space and biophilic attributes."
Not only does the inclusion of plants make patients feel emotionally and physically better, employees who work around greenery have been shown to perform better than those without. In fact, when hospitals were asked if they believed that healthcare environment should invest in green-blue elements, 80% agreed that this should be a priority.
Plants have been shown to improve the health of those around them and thereby increase productivity, creativity and significantly reduce absenteeism in the workplace.
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Source: Human Spaces