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Title: Reclaiming the Corridor: Modulating Circulation and Air Transmission to Build Flexibility in Clinical Design
Authors: Parikh, Chitra
Advisors: Besler, Erin
Certificate Program: Global Health and Health Policy Program
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: Both historically and conceptually in architecture, the corridor has oscillated in favorability. Post-World War II ‘anti-corridic’ sentiments characterize the corridor as lacking architectural merit, evidenced in its sharp decline in popularity despite its increasingly functional qualities and use – for instance, as a means of circulation and egress. While much of this literature has focused on the corridor in residential and office buildings, there exists little contemporary discussion on the role of the corridor’s value in the specific context of the hospital. This paper assesses the value of the corridor in the hospital specifically through an investigation of its ability to build flexibility via modular design, analyzed through the example of infectious disease and resulting pandemic surge. Amidst a pandemic, spatial understanding and adaptability are key to optimizing medically oriented responses. Under normal circumstances, negative pressure isolation rooms are the standard of care for highly infectious diseases. A pandemic surge, however, poses new concerns: at once, the hospital must increase the number of negative pressure isolation rooms while also converting open spaces to accommodate new testing sites, patient check-in areas, and acute care facilities. Hospital design has long negotiated related concerns of disease transmission, circulation, hygiene, and ventilation. These clinical issues have directly resulted in the development of various hospital typologies (such as the linked pavilion-style plan and the “podium on a platform” typology). This thesis identifies significant historical conversations linking questions of building design, disease spread, and flexibility through examples such as Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium and Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Hospitals. Moving towards the current day, I then identify spatial demands on the hospital in responding to COVID-19. Ultimately, through in-depth case studies of spatial design modifications made at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City and Rush University Medical Center, I investigate the disregard of the corridor, particularly in spaces of health, through the lens of circulation and ventilation. In the case of infectious disease, the corridor mediates containment through measured control of both the circulation of air and the circulation of people. Thus, this thesis argues that the corridor has an integral role in the typology of the modern hospital, indicating that the corridor’s value can be derived from the role it plays in the restructuring of hospitals as they anticipate and accommodate surge.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Architecture School, 1968-2022
Global Health and Health Policy Program, 2017-2022

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