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17 January 2024 - 17 January 2024

12:00PM - 1:00PM

Online - Zoom

  • Free

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Part of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing Guest Lecture Series 2023/24

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city street

"What if tomorrow the space we thought was safest – our own body – no longer offered protection? Are there protective shells that we could slip into? Hospitals that help heal our body and soul? Anyone embarking on a quest for answers will discover that there is an urgent need for thorough change in the planning and design of hospitals and healthcare facilities. Taking an understanding of severely ill people’s perceptions as a reference point (a scientific human scale) for this change, and thus arriving at a new architecture, is the scientifically defensible and auspicious way to fulfil the aspiration to design ‘healing buildings’ ” (Vollmer 2023: 14–15). Taking this perspective for the last fifteen years of empirical research and architectural design, my research group and I could identify seven factors of hospital architecture, seven so-called environmental variables, that influence the stress experience of seriously and chronically ill patients. Stressed patients recover with more difficulty and may find their recovery actually endangered. Reducing or avoiding stress is therefore the fundamental aim of an architecture that impacts health and healing. The lecture provides insight into the scientific discovery of the “Healing Seven” and its application to architecture.

An Abstract Booklet featuring all events in this series is available here. 



Koppen, Gemma & Tanja C. Vollmer (2022): Architektur als zweiter Körper. Eine Entwurfslehre für den evidenzbasierten Gesundheitsbau, Berlin.

Koppen, Gemma & Tanja C. Vollmer (2023): The healing seven. Key variables of an evidence-based hospital architecture. In: Tanja C. Vollmer, Andres Lepik & Lisa Luksch (eds.), Building to Heal. New Architecture for Hospitals, Berlin, 120–131.

Ulrich, Roger S. (1984): View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. In: Science 224 / 4647, 420–421.

Ulrich, Roger S. & al. (2004): The role of the physical environment in the hospital of the 21st century. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (Report to the Center for Health Design for the Designing the 21st Century Hospital Project), Concord, California ( Ulrich_Role%20of%20Physical_2004.pdf).

Vollmer, Tanja C. (2023): La Infirmita. The scientific human scale of a new hospital architecture and its necessity. In: Tanja C. Vollmer, Andres Lepik & Lisa Luksch (eds.), Building to Heal. New Archi­tecture for Hospitals, Berlin, 14–19.