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Comparative analysis of hospital environments in Australia and China using the space syntax approach

Shiran Geng (College of Engineering and Science (Built Environment Discipline Group), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Hing-Wah Chau (College of Engineering and Science (Built Environment Discipline Group), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Se Yan (Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Wenyu Zhang (School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
Chunyang Zhang (School of Architecture, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 14 August 2020

Issue publication date: 18 May 2021

343

Abstract

Purpose

Spatial arrangement of hospital environments has been proven to have impacts on hospital users such as wayfinding, privacy and operational efficiency. Many studies examined the spatial quality of hospitals, but there is a lack of comparative research between Chinese and Australian hospitals. Hospitals in both countries have salient features that are worth to learn and can inform hospital stakeholders internationally on design decisions. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and compare the spatial quality of hospitals from both countries using space syntax approach and field observation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses space syntax analysis and observation to provide qualitative and quantitative data. Illustrative case studies from both countries are selected for comparison. The main benchmarks involved in measuring the spatial qualities, such as step depth and visual connectivity, are analysed using Depthmap X before comparing with the results from observation.

Findings

For Chinese hospitals to be more human-centred, public space design and facility management need additional attention. Australian hospitals could learn from Hospital D on how to design highly centralised nursing stations that cope with a high patient flow. Global policy and decision-makers should consider the potential inconsistency between initial design intention and practical use.

Originality/value

Practical implications were made based on the results for bettering hospital environments. It is hoped that the methodology presented in this research is of significance to the enhancement of global healthcare environment research.

Keywords

Citation

Geng, S., Chau, H.-W., Yan, S., Zhang, W. and Zhang, C. (2021), "Comparative analysis of hospital environments in Australia and China using the space syntax approach", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 525-546. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-04-2020-0031

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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