Active Care - Building Design for Habilitation Centers
Paper in proceedings, 2020
This paper explores the building design of a Habilitation Center that promotes healthy lifestyles of people with diverse abilities. Habilitation care moves the focus of healthcare from a disease curing approach to lifelong health development. Studies show that the design of healthcare buildings can contribute to improving care and by extension, it is expected that building design can contribute to improving habilitation care. However, in practice, there is limited experience in designing habilitation facilities, particularly concerning emerging healthcare approaches such as health promotion. This paper describes the outcomes of a master thesis that was part of a pre-study for a habilitation center that focused on design strategies and solutions that stimulate physical activity for diverse users. The main research question was: In what way can building design promote active behavior for all types of building users? The study adopted a research by design approach focused on (1) understanding user needs, (2) developing design strategies, and (3) proposing a design solution. The results list several design strategies for habilitation buildings and propose how these can be implemented. These guidelines include strategies for physical movement such as indoor and outdoor exercise areas, climbing walls and access to nature. These results may support the development of the new habilitation center, while also introducing theoretical ideas and design guidelines regarding active design. The study can be used to inspire and discuss the design and development of habilitation centers specifically, and more generally healthcare buildings that adopt new care approaches such as health promotion.