“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”; That is how Aristotle summed up the foundations of holism. It is analyzing and understanding the systems as an integrated and comprehensive set which is what ultimately is going to determine the behavior of its diverse parts. But it doesn’t believe that this “whole” is just a sum of its parts, but the synergies between them achieve a much more complex system.
As such, architecture can be thus integrated into an holistic system that attempts to respond to different human needs from several perspectives; but today, we want to highlight the specific relationship between healthcare architecture and holism. Regarding to this and from a psychological point of view, Abraham Maslow was already talking about need satisfaction with his pyramid (physiological, safety, social recognition and self-realization) in order to achieve a complete health, from the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual points of view.
At present, medicine tends to be a holistic discipline, under which the individual should be addressed as a whole and be provided with a integral health care in relation to physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, exercise, social relations … and also to the habitat. Therefore, architecturally speaking, nowadays we tend to enter into this holistic commitment to health, looking for a better visual and spatial quality and readability of hospital buildings that can be beneficial for patients.
We firmly believe that healing is possible in part through space. To achieve an adequate space, we bear in mind the machinery that it is going to have, and we always seek the integration of natural light, color and natural and green spaces, both inside the building and around it. The goal is always to improve user comfort.
As Bruno Gomez says, senior architect AGi architects, “a good healthcare building is that where the user feels that is receiving the required care without noticing that he is into a healthcare building.
Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic is a great example of an hospital that doesn’t look like it. In it, the courtyards are projected inwards, reversing the traditional concept of façade, as the responsible for allowing the entry of light and protecting from undesirable views. The aforementioned integration of natural light, has been achieved carving out the courtyards in the volume, and thus comes to all clinics. The lattice anodized perforated metallic sheet, also allows the passage of is adequate lighting.
Once inside, the chromatic play welcoming the patients, will accompany them through the clinic, identifying each color with a specialty.
This clinic has been “Highly Commended” in the latest World Architecture Festival (WAF) in the Completed Buildings Health category.
For us, scale, light and ventilation are key elements, but for the wellbeing of a patient comfort and beauty are also essential. For a hospital to have the capacity to heal, it must be properly organized in architectural terms, but also, as we mentioned before, it must be comfortable and able to overcome that sense of closure that often these buildings cause.
Kuwait’s Hisham A. Alsager Cardiac Center configuration generates two concentric rings for separate circulation of patients and medical staff. On the façade that provides access, a setting on the ground floor allows to welcome the patient in a shaded outdoor space. The building appears as a volume enclosed by all the façades except for the one that is oriented towards the sea, and here is where the rehabilitation center is located. An ideal place in which patients can rest and receive the care they need.
This hospital was inaugurated on November 1st with great success amongst the Kuwaiti public.