More than any other building type in the twentieth century, the hospital was connected to transformations in the health of populations and expectations of lifespan. From the scale of public health to the level of the individual, the architecture of the modern hospital has reshaped knowledge about health and disease and perceptions of bodily integrity and security. However, the rich and genuinely global architectural history of these hospitals is poorly understood and largely forgotten.

This book explores the rapid evolution of hospital design in the twentieth century, analysing the ways in which architects and other specialists reimagined the modern hospital. It examines how the vast expansion of medical institutions over the course of the century was enabled by new approaches to architectural design and it highlights the emerging political conviction that physical health would become the cornerstone of human welfare.

chapter 1|23 pages

From Nosokomeion to Hygeia

Foundations of an architecture for health

chapter 2|32 pages

Everyone’s own “healing machine”

The hospital bed

chapter 3|22 pages

Knowledge, care and control

Nurses’ stations and nurses’ homes

chapter 4|23 pages

Incision and anaesthesia

The operating theatre

chapter 5|28 pages

Treating outside, looking inside

Diagnosis and therapy

chapter 7|36 pages

Health, hygiene and progress

Designing the hospital of tomorrow

chapter 9|21 pages

The modern hospital

The rise, fall and rise again of architecture