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How strongly programmed is a strong programme building?: A comparative analysis of outpatient clinics in two hospitals

Sailer, K; Pachilova, R; Kostopoulou, E; Pradinuk, R; MacKinnon, D; Hoofwijk, T; (2013) How strongly programmed is a strong programme building?: A comparative analysis of outpatient clinics in two hospitals. In: Green open access

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Abstract

Buildings are traditionally classified in Space Syntax theory as either strongly or weakly programmed. According to this theory, social life in strong programme buildings follows rules and requirements of the organisation, while space usage in weak programme buildings is assumed to follow spatial configuration. However, in recent studies it has been argued that weak programme buildings can show aspects of strong programming, too. This paper aims at a more detailed description of different levels of programming by identifying a set of criteria to differentiate between weak and strong programme. This is derived from early Space Syntax theories as well as from more recent contributions. These criteria are then applied to outpatient clinics in two hospitals using findings from an in-depth study of space usage as evidence. The main hypothesis to be tested is whether the two hospitals show different levels of programming, or are simply strongly programmed, as traditionally assumed in Space Syntax theory. Three different categories of users - physicians, nurses and clerks were observed and their work activities and interaction networks investigated. Results show that none of the two hospitals show aspects of strong programming only, but rather change from strong to weak depending on the different criteria. Moreover, none of the two cases is consistently stronger programmed than the other suggesting that the same building as well as the same building type can show different degrees of programming. The study provides an elaborate analysis of programming in buildings and thus offers a starting point for a renewed debate on programme in order to devise ways of quantifying the level of programming of buildings in the future, which to date has only been done qualitatively. It suggests that other complex building types should be studied and added to the analysis. The paper enhances our current understanding of how space usage patterns in complex buildings evolve and contributes to the articulation of one of the key theoretical concepts in Space Syntax.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: How strongly programmed is a strong programme building?: A comparative analysis of outpatient clinics in two hospitals
ISBN-13: 9788986177213
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Planning
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1425881
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