Designing to Heal: Luxury Healthcare
Where can one find world class doctors, highly customized medical plans, a five star spa, health club, and restaurant? The Chaum Center, in Seoul, Korea, designed by KMD architects, combines all these things in an attempt to transform health care.
Housed in a futuristic building with lavish amenities and design elements, the Chaum Center is certainly a far cry from your average drab hospital building. KMDs intention: to create an inspiring space that fosters relaxation. Here, futuristic elements, like the examination pods mimicking cell structures, continuous walls that snake through the interior, as well as the use of sleek materials, create a luxurious aesthetic.
Dr Kwang Yul Cha, founder of the Chaum center, believes it is this aesthetic, combined with innovative medical practice that allows people to live a healthier and longer life. I agree with Dr. Cha- the space we inhabit certainly affects our well being and transforming the design of a medical facility is one step towards transforming medicine. However, we must realize that the Chaum Center with its thoughtful design, only transforms healthcare for the most fortunate.
The facility does not only recall a five star hotel in its aesthetic, but also in its exclusivity. Not just anyone finds himself with the opportunity to be examined in Chaum’s examination pods. Providing personalized care, one might consider the Chaum Center a transformative force only in luxury health care.
But it is not an effort to be discounted. Aside from succeeding in innovative high-end design, we can look at the Chaum Center as an indulgent example of a very basic principle — humans react to the spaces they inhabit. We should keep the Chaum Center and KMD architects in mind when moving forward in health care design. Creating aesthetically pleasing spaces as an important means of promoting health and long life is definitely something to think about.