Joshua Crews, CDH Partners, takes part in this three-part series, which explores the topic of flexibility in architecture. It was originally published in Heathcare Design Magazine The first article examined the main reason for flexibility: change. The second article explored the three types of flexibility (convertibility, adaptability, and transformability) and how they can be beneficial to the healthcare field. This third and final article studies incorporating flexibility into the design process, along with specific architectural flexibility strategies.
Hospital facilities are always changing. Without leadership, a clear vision, and guiding principles that specifically target flexibility, healthcare facilities can become oversized and develop inefficient circulation and complex wayfinding. A holistic, facility-wide approach to flexibility will create a cohesive campus, and reduce costs and downtime during future construction projects, as well as lengthen building lifespans.
Although the specific ways in which a facility will evolve can’t be predicted, there are some basic assumptions that can help a design team prepare a hospital for future growth and expansion.
In this article, architectural strategies for flexibility are presented at two scales: micro and macro. At a micro level, the strategies operate within circulation approaches, zoning, and programming. At a macro level, the strategies affect site placement, building shape and orientation, and vertical and horizontal expansion considerations. Continue Reading