The Recovery Lounge by Priestmangoode


London industrial designers Priestmangoode propose hospital wards modelled on health spas and beds like those in first class airline cabins in a new manifesto for health service design, released today. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

The report, written by Priestmangoode and called The Health Manifesto, looks at how better design could help produce better, more efficient and more cost-effective environments for patient recovery.

One of the ideas is the Recovery Lounge, a ward where people can recover from minor operations (shown here) that borrows ideas from the hotel and airline industries.

A PDF version of The Health Manifesto can be downloaded here.

Update 17/05/10: watch a movie about the project here.

Here's some text from Priestmangoode:

It may look more like a health spa but this sophisticated lounge could be the future of our hospital wards according to Priestmangoode.

In the week that the group won two major awards for their work reinventing the economy hotel room and designing luxury First Class airline cabins, its vision for a hospital recovery room uses the same design principles to create a concept which Priestmangoode believes could take the strain off the queues for hospital beds and help the NHS save money.

The Priestmangoode Recovery Lounge is a concept for patients recovering from minor operations and procedures.  The designers say that its clever design could help speed up patient turnaround times, improve cleanliness, take the strain off over-stretched nursing staff and ultimately help hospitals run faster and more effectively.

Key features of the room include:

  • staggered layout, much like those in First Class airline cabins, meaning more beds per sq/m and allowing nursing staff (like cabin staff) a clear line of sight to everyone, improving staff efficiency and cutting down the number of nurses required.
  • individual private patient zones, designed to offer maximum comfort to the patient whilst incorporating clever design solutions to improve cleanliness and turnaround times for e.g. furniture floats above the floor to avoid dirt catching in hard to reach crevices and joints and corners are rounded off making them quicker and easier to clean (the designers did a time test to prove the significant amount of time saved cleaning round corners instead of square).
  • an adaptable bed inspired by airline seats and offering three positions (lie-flat, relaxed and upright) at the touch of a button so that patients can choose the position most comfortable for them, improving their sense of well-being and encouraging faster recovery.
  • a modular design allowing each zone to be manufactured off site, lowering production costs and allowing quick, easy installation in both new and existing hospitals.

The Recovery Lounge is part of a manifesto published this week by Priestmangoode which aims to show how clever design thinking could address some of the most pressing issues within the NHS.

Posted on Friday February 26th 2010 at 4:57 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Kong

    This is so strange , that i really like it ! super cool cheap anonymous serial futuristic retro design, combined with that floor ( who put that in the renderings ??? ) , cool.

  • Wow this looks incredible! It’s great how designers re-think hospitals, which are usually associated with negative feelings, and then they transform them into positive, exciting places.

  • Matthias

    When I see the edge of a table located 2″ above the seat, should I wonder how much other thoughtful detail was involved? Get your legs amputated, struggle to reach for the green button behind your back and fall off that chair. Whatever happened to imagination.

    • Rae Claire

      Supposed to be for minor procedures, but yeah, the table implies a very thin lap.

  • jon

    very, very smart

  • neuhaus

    This will work in large international airports.
    I really enjoyed the spa lounge and nap rooms at Hong Kong airport after a long overseas flight.

  • nick

    great concept but terrible renderings – invest in a rendering firm who can deliver

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Yeah, who needs privacy when you’re at your most vunerable when you can have a croissant for breakfast?!


  • I would rather pay more and have some privacy. If it’s a few hours after surgery or an afternoon I could deal with that. Anything more means you’ll have to hear your neighbors conversation, have no where for family or dear ones to sit, etc. I guess I’m not concerned with cost-effective environments that has the same ring in my ears as spam, food product, trailer park, and so forth.

  • This seems to be really nice and effectiv.

  • As an architect,who spent a lot of time in the hospitals,I can say, that something like this-it would be very,very nice and …just fine! I don’t know where SEAN or MATTHIAS lives- maybe in your country one man in hospital means one bed. In my country there’s no such a thing exept for those, who have a lot of money,or are very,very vulnerable (after crushing hemoteraphy, for example).We HAVE such a wards, where there’re 5 to 7 men. Such an improvement would be very,very helpfull for them.

  • Sorry-I meant not “one bed” ,but “one room”.

  • efj

    thins is a good step in the right direction

  • AngerOfTheNorth

    Rokas, it isn’t that there’s several people in one room, it’s the fact that there’s no possibility of privacy. In a normal ward you can have a curtain drawn around your bed. What happens when the doctor/nurse needs to do an “intimate” check on you? Does everyone get to watch?

    Nice idea, but this wouldn’t work.

  • @AngerOfTheNorth — there’s no reason why curtains couldn’t be installed for privacy.

    Wards that exist today would (in my experience) be greatly improved by the installation of these units if the tables were suitably positioned and not (as Matthias pointed out) a mere 2″ above the bed. The benefits as to streamlining and cleanliness hopefully would translate into better patient care.

  • Nico

    Ok, now just imagine the same thing in a “normal” building, with rather low ceiling, small windows, with no view (and probably about 1 nurse for 10 people).
    Also, now, add the soundtrack, with the sound of that TV that’s on, some snoring person somewhere in the back, etc, etc…

    Would that still look that “cool” ?

    Looks “cool”, but it looks like another “rendering project” to me. Would fail in real life. Sorry.

  • bob

    CSI-style lunchroom/morgue.. cool.

  • Nico – You say that there should be “one person -one room”?’Cause otherwise,those snorings etc, wont dissapear.
    My position is-that the general idea-is in the right direction.
    “Normal” buildings, with small windows etc.-in this case such an improvements would work rather better than worse-believe me,people-I’ve spent a lot of time in those “normal” wards-and, as other patients, who was in the hospital not 1 or 2 days,but weeks…I’ll be the first to applause,when something like that will come to real life

  • 这些图真的很牛!

  • Fizz

    Anyone read their Health Manifesto? Ten design principles listed for a solution to better quality and greater efficiency in patient care, all quintessentially just and sensible, challenging anyone to find any fault in their sane rationale – and then they produce this! Could do better…. surely?

  • TW

    I could see this working extremely well in, say, a maternity ward. It has the feel of a private room without the amount of space required.

    It’s about time we started to re-think the way hospitals use space – it hasn’t changed since…when? The Victorian Era?

  • Bri

    Yes I could see this working, obviously some curtains or partitions needed and the ergonomics of the table examined a bit more carefully but all in all I think it looks like a winner, well done guys

  • ah2o

    i like this concept, but with the public the way they are…would this work?
    more privacy may need to be explored and noise/sound addressed.
    Keep going in this direction…it’s very good.

  • oq

    I would feel horrible as a patient in such a space. If this is the new trend in hospital design, it has lost the human point of view. What happened to intimacy ? The people will feel even more vulnerable and exposed, and very uncomfortable in a place like this. It is like an open plan office building.
    The “clean” idea is very close to Corbusier’s way of thinking. Humans have psychological needs and the people designing such spaces should be aware of that, not only of efficiency and economical issues.
    Most definelety, many hospitals today are not perfect, but to me this is not a good solution. It also reminds me of when they made emergency hospitlas during the war…in schools or other buildings.

  • Albert