Purpose: As our population ages and becomes an elderly society the number of elderly care hospitals is rapidly increasing. Because physical functions and spatial perception in the elderly decrease with age, these hospitals require more systematic and intelligent space designs. The design of these spaces are even more complex because they must accommodate medical programs to treat various different diseases and ailments and also because there are many first time patients and irregular short term patients that seek out outpatient treatment services. Also by analyzing the spatial configuration systems and systematic relationships between each of the functional spaces of the outpatient treatment service departments for hospitals specialized in care for the elderly by focusing on the hallway and corridor systems of these hospitals, the according characteristics and trends were examined.
Methods: Based on preceding research, the types of hallway and corridor systems of these hospitals were categorized into five types, including gallery corridors, middle corridors, hall-type, mixed type and cyclic type corridors, and into six types according to function including by medical diagnosis, patient registration, examination, administration and convenience and shared common space to derive any interconnecting relationships between the corridor systems. Also by comprehensively examining the types and combined utilization of the corridor types and the integration and the intelligibility of the space syntax, any trends within the corridor system were derived. The elderly care hospitals examined in this research study were twelve hospitals that opened after the year 2000 in Korea with more that 150 sick beds with areas larger than 1000㎡ and with all outpatient medical service related rooms located entirely on a single floor of the hospital.
Results: The following results could be confirmed based on this research study. 1) The spaces where medical diagnosis and examination occurred were adjacent, and the movement lines for first time patients and re-visiting patients were taken into consideration by separating the treatment space. 2) This research study confirmed that the larger the size of the hospital was, there were more detailed categorizations of treatment services and that there was a tendency for treatment areas to be separated and independent from examination areas. 3) There was a tendency for integration and intelligibility to decrease the more complex and diverse the combination of hall types designed into the corridor systems of these hospitals was. cyclic type corridors dramatically decreased the intelligibility of the corridor systems of these hospitals. 4) The priority rank of these spaces were confirmed to be highest in the order of registration, diagnosis, examination, treatment, administration and shared common spaces. However it was confirmed for the local integration that the diagnosis scope had the highest priority rank.
Implications: There were exceptional cases confirmed where the number of unit spaces did not have an absolute effect on integration and intelligibility. These results can be interpreted to mean that this can be overcome through efficient architectural planning.