Innovation in healthcare architecture remains a major design challenge. Nice talk conceals a generic typology of long corridors with serially arranged rooms. The interior smells of cleaned linoleum and even watching television is done from the plastic seat. The spatial planning of care centers also contributes to the age-old separation of the sick and the crippled. This issue was compounded in the context of the pandemic, with dramatic consequences for residential care facilities. Not to mention the technocracy with which healthcare architecture is designed over the heads of staff, patients and residents. With this issue as a background, we look back on the Invisible Care pilot projects of the Flemish Government Architect. The aim was to realize care projects that fully participate in society. Architecture is an important factor to anchor care in our social fabric, by providing maximum support to people in their home situation, by focusing on active participation and by strengthening the social network. The new concepts must also give staff appreciation and respect and enable them to respond meaningfully to healthcare demands.
Gideon Boie (BAVO / Faculty of Architecture KU Leuven) evaluates recent realizations, unexecuted designs and spin-offs of the Invisible Care Pilot projects . The subject of discussion is work by noAarchitecten, architects de vylder vinck taillieu, Sergison-Bates and Tom Thys, Osar, NU architecture studio and Bovenbouw.
The question is how care architecture contributes to the togetherness of care institution and environment, care provider and care recipient as well as architect and user.