Organised by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), the very first Stephen R. Kellert Biophilic Design Award was awarded to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH), located in Singapore.
Hosted at the Greenbuild Expo in Boston, United States (U.S.), the award was presented to KTPH and CPG Consultants Pte Ltd in recognition of the innovative and extensive use of biophilic design in the hospital to promote healing as well as well-being.
An emerging field that promotes improved health and well-being by creating connections between people and nature in the built environment, research on biophilic design has shown that the presence of greenery has a therapeutic effect on people and helps reduce depression severity and rumination in clinically depressed patients. Activities inspired by nature such as horticulture also brings about an increase in patients’ psychological well-being, and may be a promising intervention in improving mental health.
In addition, KTPH’s win at a prestigious international platform is an example of the Singapore Government’s blueprint for sustainable development and complements the nation’s current efforts to build resilience against climate change.
Central to KTPH’s building design is the idea that ‘nature would nurture’. The hospital aims to build a legacy as a quality healthcare institution with lush greenery incorporated throughout the hospital, complete with eco=-friendly designs to minimise energy efficiency.
While designing the hospital, KTPH worked with CPG Consultants Pte Ltd to bring together the elements of accessibility, comfort, and convenience.
“The focus from start to end was to design the hospital based on comprehensive understanding of how patients will use the spaces and deliver a hassle-free experience for them,” Jerry Ong, senior vice president of CPG Consultants Pte Ltd, said. “We put in place intuitive way-finding to logical clustering of clinics and ancillary services, just to name a few, for the patients’ convenience. All the designs are also user-friendly as patient safety is paramount.”
“Khoo Teck Puat Hospital surpasses traditional hospitals and opens the door towards a new kind of building type for the healthcare industry, which considers how the built and natural environment can become part of the healing process,” Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, CEO of ILFI, added.
“When we designed KTPH, we aspired to create a hospital in a garden, and a garden in a hospital. While the surrounding flora and fauna act as a healing oasis for our patients, they also serve as a shared space for the community at large,” Mrs Chew Kwee Tiang, CEO, KTPH and Yishun Health, concluded. “Moving forward, KTPH will do more to engage and encourage staff, patients, and the community to practise and nurture strong values in environmental sustainability.”