flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

GBBN designers take on wellness research

Great Solutions

GBBN designers take on wellness research

In a new research paper, three healthcare specialists present factors that contribute to a psychological state that is receptive to healing.

By Robert Cassidy, Executive Editor | August 23, 2016

Sanya Fuwai Center, on the island of Hainan, China, is the subject of a rigorous research study by a design team from GBBN Architects. The project’s site plan is shown below. Photo courtesy of GBBN architects.

The term wellness has been kicked around a lot in healthcare design circles lately. But what precisely do we mean by wellness? And, assuming wellness is a good thing, how can designers create healthcare facilities that enhance wellness?

Responses to those questions are embedded in a rigorous case study on “salutogenesis”—“the origin of health,” a term developed by Israeli American medical sociologist Aaron Antonovsky in his 1979 book, Health, Stress and Coping.

Three healthcare designers at GBBN Architects, Cincinnati—Angela Mazzi, AIA, ACHA, EDAC; Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP; and Jon Hofmann, AIA, LEED AP—wondered why healthcare environments are seen as places where the experience of treatment is worse than the disease. Instead of being a place of dread, they wanted to know: Could a hospital provide a therapeutic environment that is “truly immersive, encouraging a patient to feel at ease and be engaged?” If so, would that promote wellness?

To test this hypothesis, the team studied one of GBBN’s own projects, The Sanya Fuwai Center. Situated on 15 acres in the mountains of the tropical island of Hainan, in China, it is more like a resort than a hospital. It provides complete inpatient and outpatient care, along with complementary therapies in a spa and hotel to allow for “relaxing, resetting, and recharging.”

Their report, “A Healthy State of Mind: Psychosocial Triggers to Wellness,” explores “psychosocial behavior cues” that provide an antidote to the anxiety and isolation that patients experience in most healthcare settings. They discuss four “salutogenic design drivers”—prospect and refuge, sense of coherence, relaxation response, and the science of happiness (who knew?)—and discuss their impact on five types of spaces: quiet, communal, casual, interactive, and season.

The GBBN researchers found several factors contribute to a psychological state that is receptive to healing:

• Incorporating elements that visually reference familiar positive environments, such as retail, residential, and recreational spaces. Provision should be made for walking paths, work areas, areas of contemplation, and destination points. 

• Allowing choice and control in how the environment can be used and manipulated, through the provision of movable furniture, “personalization areas,” and variety in the types of spaces.

• Reinforcing the level of socialization appropriate to the activity within the environment through the use of proxemics—how much space people feel it necessary to set between themselves and others.

• Connection to nature for wayfinding and as a focal point within a space. Access to natural light is another key dimension of nature.

Download the 28-page paper at http://bit.ly/29SNsqA.



Read about more innovations from BD+C's 2016 Great Solutions Report

Related Stories

Sustainability | Nov 1, 2023

Researchers create building air leakage detection system using a camera in real time

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a system that uses a camera to detect air leakage from buildings in real time.

75 Top Building Products | Aug 7, 2023

Enter today! BD+C's 75 Top Building Products for 2023

BD+C editors are now accepting submissions for the annual 75 Top Building Products awards. The winners will be featured in the November/December 2023 issue of Building Design+Construction. 

Resiliency | Aug 7, 2023

Creative ways cities are seeking to beat urban heat gain

As temperatures in many areas hit record highs this summer, cities around the world are turning to creative solutions to cope with the heat. Here are several creative ways cities are seeking to beat urban heat gain.

AEC Innovators | Jun 15, 2023

Rogers-O'Brien Construction pilots wearables to reduce heat-related injuries on jobsites

Rogers-O'Brien Construction (RO) has launched a pilot program utilizing SafeGuard, a safety-as-a-service platform for real-time health and safety risk assessment. Non-invasive wearables connected to SafeGuard continuously monitor personnel to prevent heat exhaustion on jobsites, reducing the risk of related injuries. RO is the first general contractor to pilot this program.

Office Buildings | May 15, 2023

Sixteen-story office tower will use 40% less energy than an average NYC office building

This month marks the completion of a new 16-story office tower that is being promoted as New York City’s most sustainable office structure. That boast is backed by an innovative HVAC system that features geothermal wells, dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) units, radiant heating and cooling, and a sophisticated control system to ensure that the elements work optimally together.

Design Innovation Report | Apr 27, 2023

BD+C's 2023 Design Innovation Report

Building Design+Construction’s Design Innovation Report presents projects, spaces, and initiatives—and the AEC professionals behind them—that push the boundaries of building design. This year, we feature four novel projects and one building science innovation.

Design Innovation Report | Apr 19, 2023

Reinforced concrete walls and fins stiffen and shade the National Bank of Kuwait skyscraper

When the National Bank of Kuwait first conceived its new headquarters more than a decade ago, it wanted to make a statement about passive design with a soaring tower that could withstand the extreme heat of Kuwait City, the country’s desert capital. 

Design Innovation Report | Apr 19, 2023

HDR uses artificial intelligence tools to help design a vital health clinic in India

Architects from HDR worked pro bono with iKure, a technology-centric healthcare provider, to build a healthcare clinic in rural India.

3D Printing | Apr 11, 2023

University of Michigan’s DART Laboratory unveils Shell Wall—a concrete wall that’s lightweight and freeform 3D printed 

The University of Michigan’s DART Laboratory has unveiled a new product called Shell Wall—which the organization describes as the first lightweight, freeform 3D printed and structurally reinforced concrete wall. The innovative product leverages DART Laboratory’s research and development on the use of 3D-printing technology to build structures that require less concrete. 

Cladding and Facade Systems | Apr 5, 2023

Façade innovation: University of Stuttgart tests a ‘saturated building skin’ for lessening heat islands

HydroSKIN is a façade made with textiles that stores rainwater and uses it later to cool hot building exteriors. The façade innovation consists of an external, multilayered 3D textile that acts as a water collector and evaporator. 

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021