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Programme Re-Configuration: Hospital Buildings, Internal and External Workflow Conditions, and Communicatory Benefits
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7089-4244
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Urban Design. (Spatial Analysis and Design (SAD))
Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset Huddinge / Karolinska University hospital Huddinge.
2012 (English)In: Proceedings, Arch12, 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Healthcare buildings are of great specific and general interest for architectural research as they are decidedly spatial at the same time as they are highly programmed, a type of architecture that has consistently challenged research to find clear relations between design solutions and performance or use. This paper argues that one of the main problems of finding consistent relations between workflow, organization, and spatial configurations valuable for the design of healthcare environments lies in that programmes and activities studied have been described from an organizational point of view rather than a spatial, and have been studied as efficiency machines. This paper attempts to begin a shift towards a more complex, if still ordered, approach. The line of argument is meant to be supportive in the programmatic and early planning stages, focused on how space and working conditions facilitate workflow for and communication between different personnel groups. It is proposed that of vital importance for such an understanding is the dual relations of primary (‘functional’) and secondary (‘informational’, ‘communicative’) benefits of programme configuration and distribution, as well as internal and external conditions of workflow – where the latter can be seen as a difference between conditions inherent in activities themselves and conditions produced by technical, organizational, practical, or other means that affect them. These benefits and conditions are rather studied as tensions where on one hand priorities need to be made between benefits, and on the other hand material conditions of architectural design force choices to be made on distribution and configuration of programme. This discussion is supported by empirical data gathered through interviews and observations from a research project of Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, south of Stockholm, where several hospital units have been studied to allow a continuously refined understanding of workflow and its spatial conditions in consecutive iterations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
architecture, hospital architecture, workflow, spatial practice, spatial configuration, architectural programme, space syntax
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-107742OAI: diva2:587385
ARCH12: Architecture / Research / Care / Health Perspectives on Nordic Welfare Environments
Formas, 2009-208EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 242497

The fulltext provided is the same as the conference proceedings/website. Please see the included link for further details. Reference the paper as:

Koch, Daniel, Steen, Jesper, AND Öhlén, Gunnar. "Programme Re-Configuration: Hospital Buildings, Internal and External Workflow Conditions, and Communicatory Benefits" ARCH 2012. Available at:

The conference website offers further information / formats for referencing. Please see the link to full proceedings.

QC 20130114

Available from: 2013-01-14 Created: 2012-12-17 Last updated: 2013-01-14Bibliographically approved

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