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Ambulatory is a term used in healthcare and design to describe facilities or spaces that cater to outpatient medical services. In the context of healthcare design, ambulatory refers to the physical environment and infrastructure that supports the provision of medical care, consultation, and treatment for patients who do not require overnight hospitalization. This encompasses a wide range of healthcare settings, such as clinics, medical offices, diagnostic centers, and day surgery facilities. Ambulatory design focuses on creating functional, efficient, and patient-centered spaces that optimize workflow, enhance patient experience, and promote healing. Key considerations in ambulatory design include accessibility, wayfinding, infection control, privacy, and comfort. Designers must also take into account the specific needs of different medical specialties and the integration of advanced medical technology. The goal is to create ambulatory environments that are welcoming, safe, and conducive to delivering high-quality, patient-focused care.

healthcare, outpatient, medical design, patient experience

John Armstrong


Ambulatory is a term that can be used in different contexts, but it generally refers to a covered or enclosed area that allows for movement or circulation. In architecture, an ambulatory can be a circular or rectilinear path that connects different parts of a building or provides access to various spaces within it. This type of space is often found in large public buildings such as museums, universities, and churches, but it can also be seen in more intimate settings such as homes. One aspect of ambulatory design that is worth noting is its ability to create a sense of flow and continuity within a building. By providing a clear path for movement, an ambulatory can help visitors navigate a space more easily and intuitively. It can also help to break up larger spaces into smaller, more manageable areas, which can be useful for both functional and aesthetic reasons. Another important aspect of ambulatory design is its potential for creating a sense of enclosure and privacy. In some cases, an ambulatory may be designed to provide a quiet, contemplative space for prayer or meditation. It may also be used to create a buffer zone between the outside world and the inner sanctum of a building, such as a church or temple. Overall, ambulatory design is an important consideration for architects and designers who are interested in creating spaces that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Whether used to connect different parts of a building or to provide a space for quiet reflection, an ambulatory can be a valuable addition to any architectural project.

architecture, circulation, flow, privacy, enclosure

Jonathan Anderson

CITATION : "Jonathan Anderson. 'Ambulatory.' Design+Encyclopedia. (Accessed on July 24, 2024)"


Ambulatory is a term used to describe a covered passage consisting of a series of arches, typically located around the exterior or interior of a building. It is most commonly found in religious architecture, such as churches and cathedrals, but can also be seen in secular buildings, such as castles and palaces. Ambulatories are often used to provide access to other parts of the building, such as the main entrance, or to provide a space for prayer, contemplation, and meditation. They can also be used to display artwork, such as statuary and stained glass windows. The form, design, and decoration of ambulatories vary greatly, depending on the culture and period in which they were built. Common features include columns, arches, vaults, and pillars, all of which can be decorated with sculptures, reliefs, and other ornamentation.

Church, Cathedral, Castle, Palace, Architecture.

Mark Wilson


Architects define an Ambulatory as a constantly moving space or area within a building or structure that serves as a circulation path, usually in a circular or rectilinear shape. It is often used to connect different parts of a building or to provide access to different spaces within the same building. The ambulatory creates a space for visitors to move around and explore a building without having to backtrack or explore the same space twice. It is also used to provide access to different areas of the building and to make it easier for people to find their way around. The ambulatory is often seen in large public buildings such as museums, universities, and churches, but can also be seen in more intimate settings such as homes.

Circulation, Spatial, Movement, Transition, Accessibility

Michael Adams


Masanory is the craft of constructing buildings using stone, brick, and mortar, and has been used as a construction method for over 5,000 years. Ambulatory is a term used to refer to a covered, usually circular walkway that encircles the central part of a building or another structure, such as a cloister, courtyard, or garden. The ambulatory typically provides access to the inner space without having to go through the main structure, allowing the user to circumnavigate the building or structure without having to enter it. This type of architecture is commonly used in churches and monasteries, providing a transition between the outer and inner spaces.

Circumnavigation, Exterior, Perimeter, Passage, Protection.

Shelly Stone

Ambulatory Definition
Ambulatory on Design+Encyclopedia

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