MODERNIZATION OF HISTORIC HEALTHCARE BUILDINGS
Free (open access)
125 - 133
The practice of transforming and adapting the existing healthcare facilities to meet the growing demands of modern medicine applies not only to buildings of historical value. Of course, one can set a time point from which hospitals, erected mostly with industrialized technologies, undergo upgrades for better or worse effect. Existing healthcare buildings or facilities, including historic ones, have to be refurbished and adapted to meet the growing demands of modern medicine. Of course, one can set a time point from which hospitals (erected mostly with industrialized technologies) are being transformed or upgraded for better or worse effect. A universal design methodology handling a large number of modern objects can be developed. For older hospitals – especially those coming from the turn of the 19th and 20th century and earlier – the universal methodology must be replaced with individual recognition and approach to specific design problems. From the standpoint of medical technology, the modernization of the historic healthcare facilities (not only hospitals) does not make much sense. Introduction of new medical procedures, subsequent discoveries in the field of medicine and hygiene have been changing hospital environment so much that once some innovative spatial solutions in hospitals are now undesirable. A comparison of the old and the modern operating theatre or bed-wards gives a good idea of the scale and scope of changes that have taken place not only in their functional layouts, but also in their architecture. So, what are the reasons for upholding medical function in these facilities? What methods are needed to achieve the goal? To what extent the historic fabric of buildings can remain? What kind of interventions are acceptable?
hospital architecture, hospital modernization