Healing Architecture – Wishful Thinking or Reality?


© Prof. Dr. Tanja C. Vollmer

Hospitals in Germany are still built strictly according to principles of economy and pure utility value. But this fails to take into account the fact that the outer architectural space directly influences patients’ inner physical well-being. Hospital rooms, for example, often prove to be stress factors that cause an increasing number of essential therapies to be discontinued. Architectural psychology is adopting a new approach with the research discipline “healing architecture”: It uses scientific methods to examine how the surrounding building structure can positively influence patients’ recovery. Tanja C. Vollmer spoke out in favor of a change of perspective: “Modern architectural psychology must go a step further and enable architects to consciously incorporate psychological knowledge into the design of rooms and buildings.” In her lecture she described this strategy, which is seen as a link between humans and technology but is yet to play a significant role in the planning and design of hospitals in Germany.

Prof. Dr. Tanja C. Vollmer studied biology and psychology at the University of Göttingen, where she earned the title of Dr. rer. nat. in biology and psychobiology; at Harvard University in Boston she then attained a Master of Science in health psychology. She is currently scientific director of the Kopvol architecture & psychology architectural office that she established in Rotterdam, and lectures as a guest professor at TU Berlin’s Institute of Architecture. Her work has already won international awards.

35th Bertha Benz Lecture

Prof. Dr. Tanja C. Vollmer
Institute of Architecture, TU Berlin

June 14, 2018
Foyer of SRH University Heidelberg