Case Studies

Hospital Design

Colchester Hospital

Accessibility Model

Evidence-based technique

Space Syntax has developed world-leading methods for analysing spatial layout, observing patterns of space use within the hospital environment and designing ward layouts and hospital circulations which optimise space use and interaction.

These techniques work by measuring the properties of spatial layouts that users perceive: lines of sight along streets and corridors, visual fields from public spaces, reception areas and nurse stations and degrees of privacy and openness.

Using Space Syntax methodology it is possible to measure the direct consequences of layout design such as movement, levels of co-presence and interaction, and patterns of anti-social behaviour – burglary, vandalism and theft.

A human perspective

Our objective is to ensure that hospital designs fulfill the expectations of all their users: patients, staff and visitors.

We do this using tailor-made design techniques to create customer-focused solutions. Our computer models can be used at every stage of the design process from briefing to strategic design and evaluation.

Our focus is people. We help to create places that offer comfort, safety, privacy and dignity to their users. We offer a series of evidence-based design techniques that can substantially reduce the risk involved in the hospital design process.

Experience from practice

Our recent work with NHS Estates investigates how different ward types – Nightingale, 50/50s and exclusively single-bed wards – affect movement and interaction patterns. Our findings show that the spatial layout of well-designed wards can accommodate requirements of privacy, close nurse-patient access and surveillance and reduced travel distance for nurses, while at the same time provide opportunities for co-presence and informal interaction.

In 1994 our work on crime, security and space use was published as Health Facilities Note 05 – Design Against Crime: a strategic approach to hospital planning.