Just as retail design has re-connected with urban design principle, we have the new horror of the urban hospital megastructure, impermeable, alienating and over-scaled. Were some of these (often PFI) proposals anything other than medical facilities, there is no way they would get planning permission. It does not have to be like that, as BDP's Richard Saxon points out in a report by the firm on how they do hospitals in France (BDP part-owns a French practice which specialises in hospital design). The report concludes that more generous space standards, use of single rooms and emphasis on daylighting and ventilation make French hospitals better value, costing about the same as here per bedspace but much less per square metre. Government take note.