Urban Wellness: Towards Restorative Environments in Hospitals

Open Access
Bartels, Catherine Therese
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Architecture
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jawaid Haider, Thesis Supervisor
  • Christine Lee Gorby, Honors Advisor
  • architecture
  • schreyer
  • hospitals
  • healthcare
  • evidence-based design
  • environmental psychology
  • kossman
  • restorative
  • neuroscience
  • environment
  • health
  • philadelphia
  • north central
  • girard avenue
  • wayfinding
  • patients
  • wellness
  • daylighting
  • landscape
  • sense of place
  • social interaction
  • urban architecture
  • patient
  • recovery
  • uninsured
  • underinsured
  • healing
  • healing spaces
The average American spends 90% of their life inside a building. Whether or not we are conscious of it, buildings affect our bodies and our emotions. Anyone who has ever felt awe in a cathedral or has been depressed by a drab office understands the importance of the built environment. While people may know this intrinsically, numerous studies have established the link between the built environment and mood, productivity, and human error. Reduced hospital stay and faster patient recovery ultimately translate into a higher standard of patient care and reduced costs for patients and hospitals. Patient recovery is primarily affected by four different design factors: • Quality of day lighting • Access to landscape and nature • Opportunities for social interaction and • Ability for patients to personalize their space.