The development of technology raises many interesting questions, such as smart homes, community car sharing and telecommunication. So it is reasonable to ask what the hospitals of the future will be like. As they are just being born on the computers, architects of Középülettervező Zrt. (KÖZTI), one of the best known practices with a long list of reference in the field of hospital development, gave their notions of the future.
Hospital design is one of the most technology-dependent branches of architecture. Surprisingly, the main goal of the 21st century hospital is to treat the fewest possible patients for the shortest possible time. One of the reasons for this is that ideal situation, when the advanced basic medical care system treats 40-50 percent of the patients, so the hospitals are relieved from many extra work.
Examples to be followed
Owing to the reforms of the past decades, the average number of days spent in hospitals has decreased under 4 days in Denmark and architectural examples, worth following, can also be found there. Such examples are the new Aarhus University Hospital and the Hvidovre Hospital, close to Copenhagen, where architecture has been focused on the patients and the architects have created a humane environment to counterbalance the stressful situations. It is not really necessary to organize these modern hospitals into specialized wards any more, small wards with few beds can be operated economically, if constantly fully occupied, and home care is becoming more and more important.
From container hospitals to atrium hospitals
An experiment in fast building today, the hospitals assembled from shipping containers has had historic antecedents, e.g. the jungle hospitals. The atrium hospitals, such as the Albert Szentgyörgyi Clinical Centre at the University of Szeged, or the Uzsoki Street Hospital in Budapest exude positive atmosphere with their hotel-like reception, large atria, the consequent separation of the dirty and clean routes and the use of durable, high quality materials.
Isolation and sectioning
In this present situation of pandemic, and also apart from it, isolation and sectioning of the buildings have become very important questions both in the design and the operation of hospitals. The importance of mobile diagnostic equipment, medical gas supply and sterile ventilation systems have increased and they prove to be a challenge in case of hospital reconstructions. Transport routes have to be shortened and large spaces need to have flexible functions.