SEVILLE / 11 November 2022.


During the seven previous instalments dedicated to Healthy Architecture we have seen how a design oriented towards people’s health produces social, economic and environmental benefits. Architecture, as the third skin that envelops and shelters people’s daily activities, produces physical and cognitive stimuli, both in memory and in the way of experiencing and living the space. Designing healthy environments consists of investigating, understanding and working with these stimuli with the aim of being able to design them appropriately so that spaces and buildings produce wellbeing, comfort and maximum quality of life for the users of architecture.

Human beings have always surrounded themselves with what they have considered most beneficial for their health. Inhabitants of a hyper-connected society know perfectly well what is good for them, what food they should or should not eat, what activities are best for their physical shape, or how important both their physical and psychological state are. The same goes for materials, buildings, spaces, environments and cities to live in. With a new and increasingly intense activism, citizens are demanding the removal of harmful elements from their living environment, constructions or buildings, as well as the damage resulting from their use, ageing or demolition. Today’s society demands that the environments where the basic and instrumental activities of people’s daily lives are carried out: the home, the community, the offices or the city itself, be as healthy as possible.

Taking care of the environment and taking care of oneself means significant savings in the long term for users, companies, administrations and even for the State itself, as it prevents and avoids certain problems from being transferred to the hospital environment. It is more profitable to invest in a good architectural project that takes into account the physical and mental health factors that exist in the building, than to resolve the damage that, a posteriori, is caused by their absence. For this reason, it is necessary to plan and design the everyday places where daily life takes place with assets that reduce risk factors, incorporating elements that favour people’s health and their physical and emotional well-being.

The main distinguishing feature of Healthy Architecture is that it considers and takes into account, in the design and construction of buildings, the parameters that have a physical and cognitive influence on people and, therefore, incorporates solutions during the project process that respond to their requirements and needs, prescribing the way to build contexts and environments that respond appropriately to these new social demands.

Healthy Architecture is a new way of thinking about the discipline of architecture. An innovative way of configuring, organising and constructing an environment with the aim of generating balanced perceptive experiences, both sensorial and cognitive, so that these determine the value and meaning of the designed space. It is an architectural approach that proposes a new holistic model – based on the person at the centre – that allows us to advance in the knowledge necessary to design unequivocally healthier architectures and cities. It is a new paradigm based on five essential points:


        • Generating and arranging clean, efficient and intelligent environments. 
        • Building with harmless, zero-emission materials with no ecological footprint. 
        • Integrating communication and information technologies in a safe and ethical way. 
        • Designing environments that are adaptable and compatible with changing lifestyles. 
        • Producing emotion with meaningful architecture.


Architecture is the art of creating the best living conditions for human beings by building, through technology, spaces that excite. Healthy is an attribute that expresses a quality whose purpose is to preserve bodily health and increase people’s physical, cognitive and emotional well-being. In order to achieve this goal, architecture must design and build environments with assets that favour homeostasis, reduce the risk factors for disease and facilitate, reinforce or promote human health.

After efficient, ecological and sustainable architecture, a new paradigm has emerged that contemporary society demands to be applied imperatively: Healthy Architecture.


Santiago Quesada-García is Dr. Architect, University Professor, Head Researcher of the Healthy Architecture & City group (TEP-965) and Principal Investigator of the projects ALZARQ of the Ministry of Science and Innovation and DETER of the Junta de Andalucía.

Post published in the IUACC Bulletin nº 155 of 11 November 2022