“Places of Respite”: Designing Healing Experiences for Staff, Patients, and Visitors in Healthcare Facilities

By Lisa M. Graham and Curtis Fain.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Healthcare facilities are often places of intense stress for all occupants. Patients, families, and caregivers experience psychological and physical challenges during diagnostics, procedures, caregiving and care receiving. Advocates of sustainable design such as the Green Guide for Health Care recommend that designers of healthcare facilities provide “places of respite” where occupants of the facility may go to recharge and refocus. Awarding a sustainable design credit for designing places of respite where occupants may access and experience daylight and landscape views, the Green Guide asserts that well-designed and programmed places of respite are crucial in “defining a supportive, high performance healing environment with proven effects on patient, family, physician, and staff well-being and improved clinical outcomes” (Green Guide for Health Care, 2005, 6-39). Places of respite may take shape in a variety of forms, such as healing gardens, chapels, lounges, cafeterias, or grieving areas, and serve different occupant populations within the healthcare facility. This paper examines the importance of places of respite in sustainable as well as conventional healthcare facilities, and discusses design recommendations for creating restorative and healing experiences in these key spaces.

Keywords: Sustainable Design, Healthcare, Places of Respite, Green Guide for Health Care

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.211-216. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 531.011KB).

Lisa M. Graham

Associate Professor, Art and Art History Department., University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA

Lisa M. Graham, MFA, LEED AP, is an Associate Professor of Visual Communications at the University of Texas at Arlington. She has practiced visual communications for over 20 years, working for a variety of regional, national, and international clients. Author of three books and numerous papers and articles, her research interests include the design and programming of healthcare facilities, gestalt theory, experience design, sustainable design, interactive design, universal design, motion typography, and design ethics.

Curtis Fain

Project Architect, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, USA

Curtis W. Fain, MA, AIA, NCARB, CSI, ASHE, LEED AP, is a registered architect whose research interests include the design and programming of healthcare facilities, sustainable design, and experience design. He has been responsible for the design implementation of two replacement hospitals and other medical and institutional facilities.


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