ERA21 #01/2021 The Architecture of Health

kniha editorial

The Architecture of Health

Irena Hradecká

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kniha completed project

Reading in Historical Building Techniques. Helfštýn Castle Palace Renovation near Týn nad Bečvou »

Miroslav Pospíšil / atelier-r

The renovation of the ruins of the Helfštýn castle, perched on a rocky knoll over the town of Týn nad Bečvou near Olomouc, was finally completed last year after years of meticulous archeological examination, masonry and render restoration. But it wasn’t really a renovation in the common sense of the word, nor was it the sort of romantic reimagining and rebuilding once so popular with these types of historical monuments. The majority of changes, including safety pile foundations, bracing of walls, or restoring the existing old renders, will stay invisible to the visitors. The only conspicuous contemporary element is a new glass roof and a polished-concrete and corten-steel visitor route.

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This Is Where We Heal »

Tomáš Hejzlar

A visit to a hospital is something that usually happens not because we want it to, but because it becomes inevitable. These visits can be the most vulnerable moments of our lives. We are weak. We can no longer take care of ourselves. We need help. In a situation like this we long for peace and safety and we’re very perceptive of the environment we find ourselves in. Easy orientation, cleanliness, aesthetic quality, surface materials, connection to nature — all of these things affect our state of mind. Does the current state of Czech healthcare buildings and campuses match these criteria? Or do we just leave architecturally sound buildings to deteriorate without proper maintenance? The present state of things is simply a result of the longstanding practice of allocating (insufficient) financing for the development and maintenance of hospital buildings and the surrounding landscape. However, it also shows general society’s low level interest in this issue. Will the pandemic change any of that?

kniha starting point

Memoirs of Architectural Dys-ease »

Irena Hradecká

The question of “why” is present in every step or the architectural design process. But finding a coherent line of argumentation becomes especially complicated when designing hospitals or in fact any kind of healthcare facility. This process often leads to different, yet still valid answers, which nevertheless seem mutually exclusive. Even with contemporary healthcare architecture, there are certain lessons to learn from history.

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Evolution of the Hospital Building Type »

Jan Líman

Healthcare facilities are one of the most complex disciplines of architecture. Scientific progress and new technological advances in the field of medicine clash with the process of moral depreciation of architecture. To avoid hospital buildings becoming outdated by the time they’re opened, they have to be designed as continuously evolving organisms. But one principle has remained valid all throughout history: the environment of the hospital itself should support the healing process.


1980s Architectural Contribution to Prague Hospital Campuses »

Kateřina Houšková, Anna Schránilová

Often an unjustly overlooked period of Czech architecture, the 1980s actually had a great and undeniable impact in healthcare buildings. Looking back and considering the standard of architecture for healthcare in Czechoslovakia, or rather in Prague, of that day, we can see a number of exemplary projects, especially in terms of effective collaboration of architects and artists, which was of course more common then. To illustrate this, we will focus on three departments of the Bulovka University Hospital, which were built in this period and haven’t yet received their due attention from architectural historians.

kniha interview

There Is No Architecture Without Disease. Beatriz Colomina Interviewed by Irena Hradecká »

In her newest book X-Ray Architecture, architectural historian and theorist Beatriz Colomina analyzes the connection between architecture and disease. She looks at the relationship between tuberculosis and the evolution and growing popularity of modern architecture. She also asks how different pathologies of the beginning of the 20th century, like post-war trauma or the industrialization of cities, affected architecture. Last but not least, she considers the wider societal influence of new technological discoveries in medical diagnosis and practice.

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Territories of Engagement in the Design of Ecohumanist Healthcare Environments »

Terri Peters, Stephen Verderber

Increasingly, architectural and allied designers, engineers, and healthcare facility administrators are being challenged to demonstrate success in adroitly identifying and contextualizing ever-shifting and expanding spheres of knowledge with respect to the role of energy conservation and carbon neutrality in healthcare treatment environments and their immediate exterior environs. This calls for making sense of an unprecedented volume of information on building energy usage and interdigitizing complex and at times contradictory goals with the daily requirements of building occupants.

completed project

Here Comes the Sun. Extension of Hara Hospital in Isesaki »

Nobuja Kašima, Aja Sató / K+S Architects

Hara Hospital in Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, specializes in psychiatric medical services. Recently it has been extended with a three-story, 344-bed south building for inpatient care, with a 60-bed nursing home on the top floor. In addition, a new lounge hall and a therapeutic garden are due to be completed this spring. The south building has three inner and two side courtyards planted with trees, where the sun and fresh air can get inside the living space. Close contact with natural elements is known to have a positive effect on the patients’ condition. It also creates a peaceful and warm atmosphere.

completed project

Shades of White. Second Department of Internal Medicine and Haemato-Oncology Department in Olomouc University Hospital »

Adam Rujbr / Adam Rujbr Architects

Two new departments were built recently by Olomouc University Hospital. The 2018 building of the Second Department of Internal Medicine has a visually striking outer steel staircase structure, a green roof, and a tree planted in the courtyard. The Haemato-Oncology Department, constructed as a bridge over a service road, opened in the fall of 2020. The Olomouc hospital campus has seen other architectural developments in the last decade, like the 2010 PET/CT Diagnostic Department, or the 2014 main pharmacy building, with high quality architecture throughout.

completed project

Care for Body and Soul. Treatment and Rehabilitation Center Chvaly »

Jakub Hlaváč / UNION.ARCH; Jan Světlík, Vojtěch Šedý, Filip Šefl / Atelier Světlík

The former village of Chvaly is now a part of Prague’s Horní Počernice district. In 1908, the Unity of Czech Brethren founded an orphanage here. After 1989, descendants of former patrons of the orphanage decided to start helping society again, but in a different way. They adapted the existing buildings and founded a rehabilitation aftercare facility. A place where everyone, regardless of their social status, would be given necessary help after an injury, stroke or heart attack. Rehabilitation is only one part of the holistic care offered in this facility, which focuses on the physical as well as the mental health of the clients. There are two inpatient sections at the moment, but the demand always far exceeds supply. The varied range of services helps promote interconnection between patients and healthy people, between old and young. All current employees share a common caring ethos, and it has materialized in the architecture of the new Treatment and Rehabilitation Center. 


Offering a Helping Hand »

Jan Koprnický

Integrating new technology into medicine inevitably changes the entire healthcare practice. Healthcare slowly ceases to be solely a domain of medical doctors, now requiring collaboration of specialists across all fields of expertise. Robotics plays a major role, including laparoscopic surgery or biomechatronics. Bionic arms can simulate finger movements using servo motors and several preprogrammed grips, controlled through electrical signals in muscles of the residual limb. The Bionic Prosthetic Arm Laboratory at the Faculty of Mechatronics, Informatics and Interdisciplinary Studies of the Technical University of Liberec is currently working on deepening the knowledge gained from open-source projects. Using what are essentially architectural design processes combined with 3D printing technology and information technology, they can design a prosthetic part of the human body; the most sophisticated kind of architecture there is.



Free Access to Selected Technical Standards

Lubomír Keim


Acoustic Materials and Indoor Elements

Petr Novák

completed project

Sharp Edges, Round Curves. J&T Bank Headquarters in Prague »

David Richard Chisholm, Vít Máslo / CMC architects

A new office building joins an existing trio built in 2015–2019 on Prague's Rohan Embankment, facing the Invalidovna housing estate. This marks the final stage in the redevelopment of the Rustonka industrial brownfield. Unfortunately, none of the original foundries of machine‑works could be preserved. The new building serves as the headquarters of the J&T Finance Group, where typical office space is complemented by a café or an art gallery, both open to the public. A specially designed multipurpose Work Café fills a portion of the sixth floor, and a roof terrace for work or social events tops off the building.

ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
Chleborádova 69/22, 619 00 Brno

Phone: +420 530 500 801
Projekt se v roce 2024 uskutečňuje za finanční podpory: Ministerstva kultury ČR, Nadace české architektury, Statutárního města Brna a Státního fondu kultury ČR.
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