2015 JUNE

Alli Perttunen

An old saying from the 1930’s functionalist era tells us that “a room that doesn’t get sunlight, gets the doctor.” Recent studies show that this seems to be the case, especially when it comes to building hospitals and sanatoriums. Architect Alli Perttunen is working on these same principals as she designs the interiors and the public spaces for a new hospital in Jyväskylä.

There are many factors contributing to the well-being and recovery of the patients and, surprisingly, not all of them are related to pills and bandages. Interior design that lets in sunlight and allows contact with nature alleviates stress and significantly speeds up recovery from illnesses. In addition, using acoustic materials in public spaces, such as waiting rooms, reduces noise-leakage to the patient’s ward, thus relieving anxiety.

Perttunen is especially interested in experimenting ways to enhance welfare by using passive factors. One of these is “wayfinding,” which in effect means designing interiors and outside environments in such a way that the environment offers clues and landmarks for patients to easily navigate with. These waypoints can for example be pieces of art, fountains or objects of nature.

Perttunen is FCINY’s resident artist in June and during her stay she studies how environments affect people’s mentality in hospitals and other public spaces in New York City.


A model for a new hospital to be built in Jyväskylä by the year 2020.