Active Projects

Adaptability and Innovation in Healthcare Facilities

The need to design and build hospitals that can adapt to changing conditions – as policies, technologies and care practices evolve – has long been recognised. In the UK, the 1960s and 1970s saw a wave of innovative designs in hospitals to meet this need.

Project Facts

Start date: October 2004
End date: September 2007
Investigators Professor James Barlow
Staff Employed Martina Köberle-Gaiser (100% from 1 October 2004 to 28 February 2006; maternity leave 1 March – 1 December 2006. 60% from 1 December 2006 – 30 September 2007)
Status Complete

Project Partners

  • NHS Estates
  • Catalyst; Alfred McAlpine
  • St. Bartholomew’s
  • Royal London Charitable Foundation

Project Partners

Imperial College Business School
Tanaka Building
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ
E: j.barlow(at)imperial(dot)ac(dot)uk

The pace of change in healthcare may well have accelerated since this era. However, it is unclear whether the recent programme for building new hospitals is delivering the necessary adaptability. This research explores the relationship between the delivery mechanism for healthcare infrastructure – its planning, finance, design and construction – and the potential to accommodate future changing needs through adaptability in the built form.