Specialty space: Breast care centers

Document Type


Publication Date



Visual and Built Environments

Publication Title

Health Environments Research and Design Journal


As background, breast care centers around the world vary in interior design based on geographical location and the trends of the healthcare design process at the time of construction. However, at the forefront of healthcare interior design is the evidence-based design (EBD) process and the Universal Design (UD) guidelines. The Center for Health Design states that the EBD process differs from the linear design process, in that EBD uses relevant evidence to educate and guide the design decisions. The objective of this study was to support future EBD and UD use in the development of patient areas in breast care center interior design. The methods for this study incorporated an extensive review of the literature, examples of eight breast care centers around the world, observations, an interview, and a staff survey concerning the interior design of a local breast care center. The results revealed that using the EBD process and UD, to develop guidelines for patient areas in breast care centers’ interior design, directors could use guidelines to evaluate existing breast care centers or preconstruction for new breast care centers. This study concluded with design guidelines for patient areas in breast care center interior design. The recommended guidelines targeted the following features: robes (vs. hospital gowns), spa-like atmosphere, monochromatic color scheme, use of wood and stone, private check-in areas, wayfinding, room temperature comfort, seating comfort, seating style choices including bariatric, personal items storage, access to natural light, indirect artificial lighting, living plants, views of nature, flooring comfort, and wheelchair accessibility.

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