MA Studies > Interior design > Interior design alumnus > Sofía Galárraga

Sofía Galárraga

'A door to step away from the white room' prevention - rehabilitation - repositioning the patient
Health box - Flexible hospital or hotel room for accomodating different users
different room options for different needs in a nature surrounding
 Forms of applications of nature inside
New hospitals include different social and physical rehabilitation spaces and facilities
Health box - Flexible hospital or hotel room for accomodating different users
different room options for different needs in a nature surrounding
 Forms of applications of nature inside
New hospitals include different social and physical rehabilitation spaces and facilities

Health Care Hotel
          Cure                +          Care              +          Prevent
Scientific medicine             rehabilitation             hospitals working as health promoters

CLINIC AND HOTEL  that can be flexible of use and users in time
Now                  there is high demand for surgery – treatment in the Netherlands
Future              technology advance in medicine the need to go to hospitals will decrease for getting also more home care

  • long stay patients with minor surgeries
  • community surrounding
  • people that want to rest (going under stress)
  • hospital staff - nurses
How building works 
Top                  Hotel
Middle             rehabilitation facilities gym spa sport courts game rooms pools
Clinic               short stay patients and consultation - surgery

Research Report
There are various ways of communicating, influences and organizational systems affecting spaces and building complexes in relation to people. Architecture forms part of shaping the society and has to be able to address it’s changes and development functioning as a tool were the final beneficial is the human being. 

A patient network of interaction can start first with the body and the sensations in the process of recovery it is followed by the perceptions and biological responses to his close environment, his room and the people that surrounds him every day, all these influencing his immune system and recovery. This evolves in a building complex with its own characteristics, this building is placed in a context and is also driven by external factors that also link itself to a health system lineament that goes back again to the patient and its direct and indirect surroundings shaping the way healing and its spaces around him are built and planned. Understanding this process and finding approaches to re position the patient in the health is the main issue.  These many forms of interactions can enhance a different planning and shaping of spaces which can help to enhance different needs.

Hospitals and it's context

Hospitals have been for a long time fulfilling everyone’s desires but the patients. Economy and cost saving, the functionality and sanitation of spaces, accommodating the technological machines and strictly following the process of diagnosis and treatment. This is a phenomenon is repeated everywhere. As we revise the case in the Netherlands, Colette Niemeijer and Cor Wagenaar states in “The Patient in pictures” in Layout edition #6 “the health system has been designed exclusively from the perspective of supply: medical staff, hospital organizations, ministries and financiers.”  The role of the affected the patient has been neglected and sub estimated by many points of view.  How to put into account the role of the patient again in healing?
Hospitals must be flexible to meet the upcoming changes for “cure and care” in the future of medicine and how it is going to be handled.  With telecommunication, new technology development in medicine there will be the possibility to have more self control of your sickness and its development so people will be able to handle some things by themselves without going to hospitals.  The need of these instances won’t disappear but it will decrease.   Hospitals need new strategies to not become empty buildings but to adjust.

Communicating with your close surrounding

Psychoneuroimmunology is term that joins the psychological, neurological and immunological responses of the body to their surroundings and how it affects directly in patients recovery time spent in hospital facilities.  The main core is to reduce stress and anxiety in hospital environments so that the patient immune system reacts better gets to recover faster and get released in less time.   When doctor Roger Ulrich started his test in hospitals and views through windows influencing recovery from surgery in 1984, concluding that “Health Benefits of Gardens’, in viewing gardens can measurably reduce patient stress and improve health outcomes in shorter hospital stays, fewer doses of potent narcotic pain drugs 8,5%  by having tree and nature views. This tests lead to broader researches that evolved in the theory of Evidence based design as EstherM. Sternberg describes in “Healing Spaces”says ”uses physiological and health outcome measures-length of stay, amount of pain medication, complication rates, and patient stress, mood, and satisfaction indices – to evaluate the health benefits of architectural features in hospitals.”  Many tests in hospitals have been carried away were not just nature views were into account but specialized tests on nature pictures, the art pieces used in hospitals, noise, sunlight, water features, gardens and even social support influences in patients recovery time. 

Evidence Based Design also consider various factors, as having social support for patients, providing positive distractions from their sickness, giving options to make patients feel in control in its direct surrounding and providing more activities that can help in healing while distracting.  Some say that even just having the option of opening your own window in your bedroom can be an stimulate situation for feeling more in control within the space of the hospital where you are being “cured” but not “cared” being treated and handled takes away the control of the situation and a little thing that stimulates control can give a patient more satisfaction. The environment around where noise levels, good ventilation, having nature views and more contact to the outside and natural features can stimulate a faster recovery.

Recovering and social support

Social support being a key factor to develop recovery embracing situations and spaces where social encounter is encouraged for communal or shared activities. 

One today’s example is considering changing this “fixed layout” came with the Maggie’s Care Centers were the option for cancer patients to have a “home like” environment that combines medicine and being taken care with a home. Like living in your house but sharing spaces with other patients too.  A community life is also encouraged with shared rooms like open kitchens, a big table that fits everyone for dinning, shared living room areas, etc and just a combination of spaces that try to avoid the divisions and the rational idea of healing.   Being sick does not always means that you have to isolate yourself in order to get better, it depends on the person choice of how they want to recover. If we revise recovery on the biological side through the relation between stress factors over the immunologic system, in “Stress and immunity” by Nicolas Plotnikoff, after revising some studies, “social isolation constitute a major risk in factor for health”.  A must to take into consideration in architectural healing spaces is that they have an effect on how people heal and giving more options to people choose how to do it can trigger the recovery time spent in hospitals.  
Different ways of interactions with space

These relations between the physical layout, the social component of spaces and the perceptions of our environments form part of a whole structure that marks spaces. In healing environments where the main purpose is to give patients comfort and relax in a surrounding that can give them options of choice. These environments can be constructed to address somehow a better quality of recovery by giving possibilities to the changing and movable desires of patients.