In recent years, the knowledge in flexibility to adapt to service change has been developed and analysed by several scholars from different study fields: it is the ability of a structure to be able to change its functions and environments in the short, medium or long term, based on the costs and users’ needs. This capacity for
transformation can be ensured only by a building designed in the pre-design phase in accordance with technological, structural and plant engineering criteria specifically oriented towards the flexibility of the entity itself.
As a consequence, flexibility has become an essential key point which all the operative and future hospitals must achieve. In recent years research in the healthcare building sector has been focusing on systems highly adaptable from the technological to the structural scale, from the building plant engineering to functional level. Several research groups are developing design strategies to improve the flexibility for the design of significant spaces which are essential to ensure high levels of quality to the growing number of new demands.
Then it is clear that hospital project, often unsuitable to meet the organizational complexity’s needs of a healthcare facility, is subject to changes over time. It is necessary to define technological and constructive solutions that permit the environmental flexibility to guarantee future changes with minimal impact on the entire building systems and users.
As new trends require greater emphasis on research and outpatient clinics’ spaces, inpatient wards will always be present in a hospital. Its layout is very different from a hotel one for several logistical and functional aspects, but the user’s rooms are very similar, although differences persist on their dimension, engineering plants, furniture and materials. The patient hotel tries to merge these two typologies, in fact it is a hotel that offers accessible rooms for discharged patients and some outpatient clinics and a specialized staff (nurses and doctors) within the structure. The structural grid must be regular and should guarantee the maximum future flexibility (predictable layouts) and futuristic one (unpredictable layouts). It is crucial to understand and define the maximum adaptability of a structure over time and therefore the dimensional issues should guarantee several future scenarios.
Principal Academic Tutor
Stefano Capolongo, Dept. ABC, Politecnico di Milano
Claudia De Giorgi, Dept. DAD, Politecnico di Torino
Cesare Maria Joppolo, Dept. DENERG, Politecnico di Milano
Cristina Masella, Dept. DIG, Politecnico di Milano
Giulio Mondini, Dept. DIST, Politecnico di Torino
Gabriella Peretti, Dept. DAD, Politecnico di Torino
Riccardo Pollo, Dept. DAD, Politecnico di Torino
Francesco Scullica, Dept. DESIGN, Politecnico di Milano
Virginio Quaglini, Dept. ABC, Politecnico di Milano
Lino Ladini, Architect, CADOLTO
Thomas Fritsch, HT Group
Andrea Zamperetti, Architect, Salini Impregilo
Alberto Beretta, Engineer, Oppent
Antonio Cianci, Engineer, Airlite
Franco Mola, ECSD
Christine Nickl-Weller, ENAH
Maurizio Mauri, Doctor, CNETO & Fondazione CERBA
Fausto Francia, SItI – Società Italiana di Igiene
Daniela Pedrini, Engineer, SIAIS
Gaetano Settimo, Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Francesca Bullo, Industrial Production Engineering, Politecnico di Torino
Emmananda De Martino, Civil Engineering Politecnico di Milano
Natasha De Santis, Architecture Politecnico di Milano
Chiara Fignon, Architecture Politecnico di Milano
Zhao Shuyi, Systemic Design Politecnico di Torino
Wan Chih-Wei, Interior Design Politecnico di Milano
Devin Tan [Team Controller], Civil Engineering Politecnico di Milano