Hospital architecture and designs have transformed over time, from the once sterile white walls and stark decor to vibrant colors and eye-catching materials on the interior and exterior. The elements in today’s best designs have been proven to improve patient care.
Depending on the type of building, tying in elements of style and flair may be harder than expected. Hospitals are one type of building where functionality and design must go hand-in-hand. In developing this list of The 25 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the World, we considered interior and exterior features and their health-promoting qualities. Designs including warm woods and nature-inspired elements, soft color schemes, and exterior facades designed with regards to their natural settings placed these facilities on the list.
The most beautiful hospitals span the globe, including facilities in the United States, Austria, Thailand, Panama, Switzerland, China, and others – evidence that health-focused design has no boundaries.
Here are the 25 most beautiful hospitals in the world:
25. Forest Park Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA
Recently expanded, the Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas offers many upgraded, state-of-the-art amenities and a beautiful design. In addition to the added 14 operating rooms, 48 private patient beds and 12 ICU beds, the expansion also includes a Class A, 6-story, 130,000-square-foot medical office building. The interior includes spaces with auditorium-style seating, modern lounge areas, floor to ceiling glass walls, and cool tones to give the building a modern feel. Patient rooms are warm and comfortable, utilizing elements like hardwood floors, large windows, and sleek finishes to make a patient’s stay more like a luxury retreat than a recovery period. The modern design flows out to the exterior, where there are areas for drive-thru banking, restaurants, pharmacy and other retail opportunities to make this more than just a hospital.
24. Sumner Regional Medical Center, Gallatin, TN, USA
This 155-bed hospital is attractive to the eye on the inside and on the outside. The interior is finished with comfortable leather lounging chairs, marble accents, and entertainment-style televisions to allow patients and their visitors to feel at home. With careful consideration to the use of glass walls, the hospital also keeps a warm and inviting environment by their balance between natural and artificial light. On the exterior, a high glass tower takes center stage and is surrounded by a mix of glass and other warm materials. Lush landscaping completes the design, and is tended to by a in-house landscaping and maintenance staff.
23. Rudolfinerhaus – Vienna, Austria
This hospital is set in a quiet residential neighborhood, and its architectural design fits in perfectly with the surrounding buildings and homes. The exterior landscape complements the design, with lush and tended-to greens and shrubbery that invite patients and guests to spend free time outdoors. With the feel of a luxury hotel on the interior, patients can experience a peaceful and relaxing recovery time, and often remark that they feel more like a “guest” than a patient. Rudolfinerhaus has over 100 stylishly furnished private and semi-private rooms, with a total of 156 beds in 7 care units.
22. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital – Roanoke, VA, USA
A mix of new and old architecture comes together at this hospital so that visitors will not notice a stark change in design, only a uniform and flowing expansion that unifies functionality and operations. The interior features many of the amenities of similar hospitals, like semi-private and private rooms, housekeeping, and more, but the real attraction to CRMH comes with its exterior design. One side of the hospital uses brick and concrete to frame the windows of patient rooms while a new, modern expansion utilizes walls of glass as the main design element on its curved facade.
21. Hospital Punta Pacifica – Panama City, Panama
Affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, this hospital has been recognized as one of Central and South America’s most advanced medical centers and is a top destination for Medical Tourism. Facilities include 51 modern and private rooms, 11 suites and 1 presidential suite, all specially designed to promote and enhance rapid recovery. The setting of the hospital adds to its appeal, as it sits along the Pacific Ocean in one of Panama City’s most prestigious neighborhoods. Light and dark contrasting materials allow the eye to be pulled in to its horizontal exterior design, where glass and concrete come together to create beauty near the sea.
20. Medical University of South Carolina Ashley River Tower – Charleston, SC, USA
This hospital’s beautiful setting along the Charleston Peninsula alone gives it a place on this list, but it also has great amenities and a hotel-like interior design. The entrance, lined with lush landscaping and bluestone tiles, allows patients and their families to drive right up to the doors, then leave their car for the valet service to park. Inside, a 6,000 ft. conservatory with glass walls, skylights, and indoor plants welcomes patients and visitors while serving as the connector between the two main wings of the building. For patients, privacy is assured with their 156 single person rooms, complete with a full bath and pull-out couch for family and visitors.
19. Prince of Wales Private Hospital – Sydney, Australia
Located in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, this hospital has both private and shared facilities, including 168 overnight beds with modern amenities. Attractive designs utilizing structural steel framing and glass along with unique architectural details on the exterior compliment the modern facilities on the interior. Newly renovated operating rooms also lend to the modern and sleek design of the interior, as well as improve its functionality and equipment quality.
18.Providence Alaska Medical Center – Anchorage, AK, USA
Described by visitors and patients as “functional and stunning”, this high-tech medical center has a lot to offer medically and aesthetically in addition its beautiful setting. The campus is undergoing a $150 million renovation and expansion to its NICU, Prenatal, and Mother Baby Units, slated for completion in 2014. Aside from semi-private and private patient rooms, this hospital also features a family resource library and a nearby guest house for families and those undergoing outpatient procedures.
17. Klinik Hirslanden – Zurich, Switzerland
The Klinik Hirslanden has a sleek, modern design on the interior and exterior, and houses 259 single and double rooms. Besides amenities like cable television, internet, adjustable beds, full baths, and a housekeeping service that tends to the fresh flowers in each room 3 times a week. With a program called Hirsland Privé, the hospital provides a Guest-Relations service which offers patients the services of an attendant to care to their personal concerns. Hirslanden also invests heavily in the latest medical technologies and established Switzerland’s first CyberKnife radiosurgery unit.
16.Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula – Monterey, CA, USA
Situated on the California coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean on environmentally protected land, this hospital’s description alone is enough to invite any potential patient into the facility. The redesign of the building in the early part of the millennium was intended to adhere to the design intentions from the original architect, Edward Durell Stone, with low, striking roof lines and natural lighting throughout each public space.
15. Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital – Vancouver, WA, USA
From the outside, this six-story hospital lights up the sky with its elevated glass walkways and pulls in the eye with curved facades and a mix of materials, like stone, glass, brick, and metal that carry through to the inside. Outdoor courtyard spaces and terraces help visitors and staff find peace outside of the walls of the hospital, while natural light and warm hues are used inside to help extend that outdoor feeling to the inside. Two large, L-shaped patient towers are situated to optimize the views of neighboring Mt. Hood and the surrounding natural habitat.
14. Clemenceau Medical Center – Beirut, Labanon
CMC, affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, boasts a “5-star hotel ambiance” with conveniences like televisions and Internet access for its patients. A modern glass and concrete exterior is complimented with spacious interior rooms that allow for a “cozy” feeling. The interior design also allows them to use innovative medical equipment like completely film-less digital imaging centers and real-time video conferencing equipment to connect with other physicians and specialists inside or outside of CMC.
13. Dixie Regional Medical Center – St. George, UT, USA
Located in a desert setting near Zion National Park in Utah, the architects and designers of this hospital had to take a lot into consideration to avoid heat gain, like building orientation and sun-shading. The designers took their inspiration from the land in the surrounding Zion canyons, and utilized skylights to bring the natural light deep into the building. The interior features all single rooms and has a central concourse that connects all of the different buildings in the complex, offering separate entrances for major services such as surgery, cardiology, and imaging. From the inside, patients and visitors can view to the surrounding desert, Xeriscape gardens full of indigenous plants, and water features all around the facility.
12. Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies – Orlando, FL, USA
This hospital was designed with beauty and function in mind for the interior and the exterior. From the extensive use of glass to illuminate the interiors with natural light, the vertical structures to improve patient-staff proximity and observation, and a glass globe entry way, this hospital uses its unique design as a main component of the healing and recovery process. The interior is filled with calming colors and tones and patient rooms were designed for ultimate privacy.
Photo credit: Steven Verlander
11. St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, Philippines
SLMC has received international accreditation and is recognized as one of the best hospitals in Asia and the entire world. As such, it regularly receives patients from around Asia, Micronesia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. This hospital holds 650 patient beds, with almost half of those available as fully-furnished, private suites with televisions and other modern conveniences to make every visit as comfortable as possible.
10. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Innovative and welcoming, this hospital successfully merges technological advancements with soothing and comforting design for its visitors. Full integration of technologies like EHR and CPOE, the pediatric hospital is one of the leading in the country and has designed its campus with a family-friendly feel, complete with playful interiors, private rooms, a family resource center with a four-story atrium and dining area, a Healing Garden library, musical therapy room, and a business center for families and parents.
9. The London Clinic – London, England, United Kingdom
This facility was designed with patients’ comfort in mind and includes soothing interior colors and the use of natural light (even in lower-level patient rooms through the use of a light atrium) with modern amenities like flat screen televisions in each patient room. In addition to the design and furnishings, The London Clinic also commissioned an integrated arts program to be a part of their design for comfort and well-being.
8. St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, Siena Campus – Las Vegas, NV, USA
This Spanish missions-style building is not only appealing to the eye from the exterior, but from the interior as well. From the inside, patients and their families have great views of downtown Las Vegas and nearby desert landscape. The interior has incredible features that help visitors feel more welcomed, like the 100-foot bell tower and entry rotunda, including encouraging and biblical quotations that are reflected throughout the entire facility, and a ¾-acre indoor garden where visitors can take gardening classes and enjoy the beauty of desert plant life.
7. Bumrungrad International Hospital – Bangkok, Thailand
This hospital is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world, and treats over 400,000 foreign patients each year from various countries like Sweden, the United States, China, and Afghanistan. The designs of the patient rooms use soothing colors and warm furnishings, like natural woods and plush fabrics. With air-conditioned walkways connecting several towers that make up the main structure, the hospital also includes two levels of restaurants and shopping areas.
6. UPMC Hamot Women’s Hospital – Erie, PA, USA
This newly constructed facility offers patients and visitors a grand 2-story entryway, 40-foot water wall, and picturesque views of nearby Presque Isle Bay and the neighboring downtown area. The interior evokes a feeling of calm and relaxation for patients and mothers-to-be with warm earth tones and comfortable furnishings. From spa-like delivery rooms to indoor “outdoor” rooms that cater to newborns and families housed in the NICU, designers use calming affects and finishes to bring comfort to all who are visiting.
5. The City Hospital – Dubai, UAE
This hospital can sometimes make patients feel like they’re in a 5-star luxury hotel instead of a care facility. It offers patients and their families access to a heated indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, Jacuzzi and gym, along with the VIP floor that has a separate entrance, elevators and valet service, with 12 suites that are designed and furnished to provide the highest levels of comfort.
4. Florida Hospital Waterman – Tavares, FL, USA
This hospital was designed with patients, staff, and the environment in mind. In addition to multiple staff rooms to eliminate noise and “stuffy” areas, the hospital was also designed around the natural habitat of endangered birds that call the area home. This included non-reflective exterior glass, investigations in flight patterns, and altering helicopter routes around the birds’ natural flight paths. On the exterior, an eye-catching hovering roof connects the modern addition to the hospital with one of its original buildings, while the interior boasts a hotel-like ambiance with a concierge at the entrance and soft, comforting furniture throughout.
3. Matilda International Hospital – Hong Kong, China
This modern hospital in Hong Kong is beautifully situated on the historic Victoria Peak, known informally as “The Peak”, overlooking the South China Sea on Hong Kong Island. On the inside, its “operating theater” uses innovative designs with glass paneled walls and LED lighting along with ceiling pendants to maximize the flexibility of the room.
2. Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital – Bloomfield, MI, USA
Not only does this 160-acre hospital campus have aesthetically pleasing buildings on the exterior as well as a shopping mall-like interior, but it is also LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified for its use of natural light for heating and cooling, rainwater collection and filtration system, recycling programs, and more. With wide use of interior landscaping and design, visitors and patients almost never feel like they’re in a hospital.
1. Sharp Memorial Hospital – San Diego, CA, USA
Often compared to a high-end department store or hotel, this hospital’s design is a sharp contrast to the sterile white walls and big bulky equipment that often comes to mind when we think of large medical facilities. Equipped with a separate set of elevators for patients or medical staff and the public, as well as a rooftop garden, all private rooms with pull-out couches for guests, and museum-quality paintings adorning the walls, patients and their families may be tempted to stay longer just for the fun of it.