Treehouse hospital – when the power of ideas become a change agent

Worldwide. When scouting for my next issue about unlikely hospital situations I stopped at the keyword treehouse. Treehouse? Childhood memories, a safe haven to concentrate on (very) personal matters.

After spending a lot of time during this research I got deeper and deeper into an architectural area of visions, concepts, treehouses already in action.

But an idea starts always small. Like Natalie, 2nd year medical student of the Western University of Health Sciences in US Pomona. Her 56 second statement reveals a basic drawing. Her Treehouse Clinic would create a work life balance – stay with the family in the private house, treating patients in the treehouse.

Treehouse. In order to get familiar with the new concepts of a treehouses, lets dive into 3 different projects:
1. Green Village in Bali, Indonesia
18 unique homes, a community to visit and stay
2. The Gibbon Experience in Laos
Encountering nature like never before, the highest treehouse concept I fond so far with treetop architecture
3. Antony Gibbon Designs
4 breathtaking structures like the the inhabit treehouse

And healthcare?
Well I found that article from Brooklyn-based Shaunacy Ferro, October 2014,
About Maggie’s Centre (charity – support for people with cancer), attached to the (woody grounds) of Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England. By Wilkinson Eyre Architects.
3036986-slide-s-6-climb-into-this-treehouse-cancer 3036986-slide-s-7-climb-into-this-treehouse-cancer

Maggie’s Centre: well-known for its design of beautiful healthcare with big-name architects for cancer patients
3 wings, leaving the existing trees undisturbed
Purpose: Providing people with cancer and their relatives with informations, emotional support and a space to relax
Pre-fabricated in Germany, assembled on site
Open plan kitchen, dining space as central core
Terrace and stairway to ground level
Some more informations and photos here.
The synergy between healthcare and architecture here and of course with many other projects around the world is simply stunning.

Talking about patients and their relatives, rehab, time after surgery… and the fact that most of the hospitals have incredible gardens, parks, are embedded in a green paradise. Could that be the moment when the idea of an attached service to the hospital suddenly works like a change agent? Creating treehouse hospitals, treehouse clinics, treehouse rehab, guest houses for relatives? Providing a specific “second world” for patients with a different need. Making healthcare even more a memorable moment.

I’m in love with all the ideas, visions, prototype sketches in my head. Congrats to Maggie’s Centre and all the people involved – outstanding developments of tomorrow provided today.

Maurice Codourey

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