Over the last decade, the healthcare industry has evolved significantly, triggering architects and interior designers to change their approach. Millennials being the designers of today, and Generation Z being the future users, has led to a greater focus on the aesthetics of healthcare facilities revolving around experiential design. It has transformed from creating once service-oriented, functional spaces, to creating spaces with a bigger purpose that place user-experience at the centre of design.
Research has shown that the environment a patient is in can reduce stress, blood pressure and even encourage faster recovery. Healthcare providers have tapped into this and use design to create positive impacts on their patients’ health and overall experiences as well as to differentiate themselves in the healthcare industry’s competitive landscape.
Today, as urban city populations are at an all-time high so are cases of anxiety related disorders (likely due to the hectic lifestyles that come with living in big cities!). Thus creating the need for increased exposure to, ‘nature’ and the promotion of living, ‘a healthy lifestyle.’ This healthy living concept is a healthcare model which reinforces the importance of increasing daily physical activity and incorporating lifestyle changes into public spaces, such as home or work, that play a primary role in our daily lives.
Hospitality giants and developers have also started promoting this concept. One of our clients, MAG PD, has changed the way healthcare is being delivered in the region by introducing a Mag Creek Wellness Resort. This project, currently under construction on the Dubai Creek waterfront, is scheduled to debut in 2021. It will be comprised of residential, hospitality and healthcare spaces and will be home to the world’s largest wellness centre.
The Mag Creek Wellness Resort will serve a range of functions from medical applications to functional programs and residential areas. The architecture that goes into these types of wellness and healthcare facilities is complex and forces us as designers to prioritize both form and quality. By fusing world-class healthcare with personalized hospitality we can provide end-users with truly unique and memorable experiences.
Employing an open, community driven approach, the project scheme has been inspired by the concept of a ‘lifestyle destination’ led by wellness. One of our main aims was to create ‘architectural expressions’ that provide peaceful environments and reflect every aspect of human life. The resort itself is a game changer and represents a new breed of resorts that will redefine quality of life through efficiency and simplicity.
‘’Mag Creek Wellness Resort is the 1st residential district to combine the highest standards of health and luxury facilities, making it the only project of its kind in the region,’’ Khaleej Times.
Mag Creek Wellness Resort has created an entirely new sector: Wellness Hospitality. I believe this is a sign of the times, wellness has evolved to become such a big part of our lives and one of the most spoken about design trends among Millennials and Gen Zs.
More often than not, sustainability is a concept that goes hand-in-hand with wellness and complements ‘healthy lifestyle’ ideals. In practice, this often means combining ecological elements such as sunlight with physical elements like building facades.
Modern healthcare design equates the end-user’s mental and physical comfort with an effective use of space (i.e. one no longer trumps the other). Sustainable architecture helps to achieve this because it looks beyond a building’s ecology or energy efficiency, and places end users at the center of the design process. In fact, the study of user needs has become a focal point in design philosophy.
Sustainability is not about sacrificing comfort or lifestyle for environmental benefit, but rather finding design solutions that improve today’s quality-of-life without sacrificing tomorrow’s.
As part of this project, we have been working closely with Delos (medical specialist for building solutions) on studying every step a user might potentially take as they enter the space with a view to creating positive experiences throughout this journey.
Air quality sensors and air ventilation systems capable of purifying air
Blackout shades for stress-free, relaxing environments and better sleep rhythms
Indoor gardens and the use of vertical oxygenated planters
Providing easy access to nature
Purified water and Vitamin C infused showers to provide cleaner water
This project will change peoples’ perception of what luxury is. Health has become the new wealth and as healthcare and hospitality design become more intertwined, architects, designers and developers alike will be creating places for end-users to live well, get well, work well and stay well.