Designing spaces for healthcare is one of the most complex and therefore challenging architectural design commissions there is. You must be able to handle intricate design tasks in which many and often conflicting parameters have to be prioritised and weighted with many stakeholders involved. In this processes you are requested to create a high quality architecture coordinating a good patient environment with demands for high-class work conditions, sufficient space for treatment, care logistics, advanced technical systems design etc.

Today there is a new awareness of the crucial importance of architectures as being a part of a good healing environment. The building itself has been shown to promote health, reduce time for treatment, decrease medication and help to reduce the stress experienced by patients, their families, and the teams caring for them. All this opens up new possibilities for architecture to be an important part of the healing process instead of just delivering a functional structure where healing takes place.

Learning outcomes

The students shall obtain general knowledge about and ability to design large scale, complex and sustainable buildings (healthcare) integrated into the surrounding environment and urban setting.

Knowledge and understanding
- Understand theories and history of healthcare architecture as a part of the professional, cultural and societal context.

Abilities and skills
- Design healthcare architecture that supports sustainable development from environmental, social and economic aspects.
- Work interactively with complex programming, combining spaces for care, patient experience, work environment, logistics and architectural systems thinking.
- Handle a design driven work method for complex commissions.
- Practically apply the concepts of evidence based design and healing architecture.
- Apply concepts of "Future proofing"-generality, flexibility and adaptability.
- Integrate structural design and principal technical requirements that are essential to fulfil the goals of sustainability and future proofing.


The Healthcare Studio at Chalmers Architecture has a curriculum that is founded on a dedicated pedagogical vision. It combines explorative design exercises with analytical and systematic procedures, literature studies and organized reflection. The Studio works with context-rich "real" commissions that are a part of the planning processes in one Swedish County Council together with clients and users.

Each year a new application project is carefully selected. A typical project is a hospital site, a new building or healthcare unit with a significant scale and level of complexity and therefore enough challenging. We enter in a phase where the program is still open and we can nourish from the engagement and interests from the client and other stakeholders. The students projects will in this way have a chance to influence the client's process and get opportunities to present proposals to a broad range of persons and actors.

The professional situation for creating high quality healthcare architecture has developed very positively during the last decade. After years of low activity, Sweden has today entered a period of new investment in healthcare facilities. Firstly, healthcare is changing rapidly due to constant new development in medicine, technology, nursing, rehabilitation and changing demand patterns. Secondly, in Sweden, a great proportion of the existing hospital building stock is out-dated and difficult to adapt to new demands. Society is forced to make high demands on the quality and cost of healthcare delivery. Healthcare architecture is today recognized as an important factor in reaching these goals. This wave of construction provides a great opportunity to create a new stock of high quality healthcare facilities. The market consequently calls for architects with interest and skill in healthcare.

Hospitals (and office buildings, universities etc.) have a demand on them for generality and flexibility, namely to be ¿future proofed¿ or adaptable to continuous change. This quality differs from more singular type buildings like museums, community centres, residential buildings etc. Furthermore, in hospital design both the scale and the briefs are large. Healthcare architecture is additional complicated by the speed of change and the collaborative planning tradition of healthcare facilities in Sweden. New forms of interaction in multi professional design processes are rapidly developing. A challenge for architects is therefore the dynamic methods in use for yet unknown and variable planning objectives.
Ongoing PhD:
Conceptualisations of health promotion in relation to Healthcare Building Design

Exploring conceptualisations of health promotion in the context of outpatient healthcare building design, to enable a broader platform for the incorporation of several health promotion perspectives on future healthcare building design.
The main research question is:
How is health promotion conceptualised in the context of outpatient healthcare building design?
During the course of this research, and the discussions surrounding the studies, several other questions emerged;
What aspects of building design makes it a health promotive building design?
How is health-promotion building design conceptualised in the literature and practice?
What tools and outcomes are referred to when evaluation health-promotion building design?

Link to abstract.

2012 | Research

How can architecture contribute to Forensic Psychiatric Care?

Building for re-socialization is about building for forensic psychiatric patients. Forensic psychiatric patients are psychiatric patients with a criminal background. They have been in prison and are in need of psychiatric treatment for their disability before being able to contribute to society.

The research has focused on how to use architectural means to improve the re-socialization process;
for unstable patients to re-rehabilitated to normal live.

By using research from (environmental) psychologist and architects, talking to professionals and then translating into practical guidelines for a better living and treatment environment.

Please send an email if you would like the full research.
Reserach, Exposition & Booklet

Weapons of Mass Originality is a collaboration of students from Explore Lab Graduation at the TU Delft.

An exposition on the possibility of personalising standard architecture.
The result is an overview of streets of a VINEX neighbourhood in the Netherlands. All homes are photographed separately to analyse the individual characters.

Tosja Backer
Romy Berntsen
Wouter Keizer
Ule Koopmans
Ermal Kapedani
Jan Loerakker
Vincent Mak
Flip van Nieuwpoort
Carlos Seanz
Jasper Tuinema

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Miedema, E. ; Lindahl, G. ; Elf, M. (2017). Health promotive ambitions related to building design – the case of Angered Nearby Hospital, ARCH 17 - 3rd international conference on architecture, research, care and health. 1 edition p. 331-344. ISBN/ISSN: 978-87-93585-00-3 [No. 248712]

Miedema, E. (2015). Engaging stakeholders in Complex Design by using of Symbiosis in Development method. , Design 4 Health Conference, July 13-16, 2015 Sheffield UK. . [No. 230828]
Miedema, E. ; Fröst, P. ; Elf, M. (2015). Healthcare architecture for health and well-being From hospital to neighbourhood care (PROARCH). Göteborg: Chalmers University of Technology. [No. 230827]
May 2013 | Competition Entry
i.c.w. Jasper Schaap van Studio Schaap

How can the decrepit health area transformed into an healing beautiful living and working environment?

Final results to be found on the Europan 12 website.

Jury rapport
The chosen set of strategies is well presented and the aim for social cohesion and liveliness in the area hardly leaves place for disagreement. As in many proposals the existing campus structure is densified with built volumes that react to their program and but only little to each other and to their position in the whole and the logic of the urban structure is difficult to follow. The many sympathetic ideas presented concerning target groups and activities seem to relate very little to the slightly random city milieu. This sketchiness is visible also from the bird’s-eye views where also the scale becomes strangely obscured. The presentation generally is visually convincing and fun.

The full rapport can be downloaded here.
May 2013 | Private Client | Build

How can a new fence add value to the public and private domain?

The wall provides small planters and seats on both sides. The curves and bricks create openness at the public front side and the hight and straight line provides for a more private back garden.
2012 | Graduation Project (BE)

How can architecture contribute to re-socialization of Forensic Psychiatric Patients in Belgium?

A new forensic Psychiatric Center in Brugge to house the many 'geinterneerden' or forensic psychiatric patients living in the Belgium prisons without treatment.

The design is a small society where patients can learn how to live with their psychiatric disorders. The different phases are provided with different rooms with different requirements. This makes it possible for staff and patients to find a fit environment for all patients.

The buildings is designed as a small walled village to create a testing ground for the patients and safety for the staff, patients and society. The views from the individual rooms are always directed at nature.

The main guidelines are founded from the research done prior and parallel to the design process. Elements like privacy, freedom, security and control are being used to create a secured environment able to house dangerous criminals and facilitate treatment for them.
2011 | Studie Project

How can an market contribute to social interaction and improve the living quality of a problem neighborhood?

The main goal was to enhance the relation between the surrounding buildings and improve use of the park.

Within this design the markets halls are divided in different themes; food, goods and vintage. But all of them are flexible and could be switched if needed.
Some of the market halls provide a promenade at the street side without enclosing it entirely. The connect the existing small shops to the markets to provide a better commercial environment. research concluded that good working markets have a wide range of activators surrounding them. Others provide an alibi for other users of the park and create different squares within.

The market halls have large doors which can open during the summer for events or to provide for ventilation. There is no fixed entrance and during a festival of event is can be opened entirely.
2009 | Study Project

What is the optimal environment for kids to develop their skills?

The building divides development steps as an reaction on the recent type of similar building which divide by age groups. Whit in these age groups it is not possible to create stimulating spaces for specific functions. Whit in this center children are able to find their own way though different development types and steps with accommodating functions and activities.

Children are young individuals with own individual needs. The new children center in Scheveningen is a combination of a day care center combined with a after school facility. It is located in the dunes; the boundary of the beach and heath land, the natural and more urban environment. The wind, the sight on the North sea and the use of wood which reacts with the salt air the building blends into its environment.

All steps are placed in tunnels which are made to enhance that specific education by shape and color. The end of the tunnel brings light and has a view on the Dutch coast line while the spaces, which accommodate the less developed children, are more focused inward to provide an secure environment.