The winners of the 16th annual Design Awards Competition, sponsored by Modern Healthcare and the American Institute of Architects' Academy of Architecture for Health, reflect an increasing awareness that patients are also customers.
Not only did the winning entries have designs that reflected their social purposes and immediate surroundings, but they also took into account the needs of the families of patients, an increasingly important element in a healing environment.
This year, nine of 165 entries were cited as winners, seven in the built category and two in the unbuilt category, with a strong showing among specialty children's facilities.
"The major emphasis of designs this year was patient and family focus, with great uses of soft homelike environments," says judge David Veillette, chief executive officer of Indiana Heart Hospital in Indianapolis. In the unbuilt category, one Award of Excellence went to a children's convalescent hospital and one Honorable Mention went to a women's healthcare facility.
In the built category, three awards of excellence, three honorable mentions and one citation were given to projects that spanned the continent and the range of rural and urban environments. All three awards of excellence were given to children's facilities-a pediatric clinic in California, an acute-care hospital addition to a children's health center in British Columbia and an evaluation and therapy center for disabled children in Washington state.
Honorable mentions in the built category went to an ambulatory-care and short-stay nursing facility for the Hopi tribe in Arizona, a replacement hospital in Iowa along the banks of the Mississippi River and a community health center in Boston. An acute-care hospital built near 32 acres of wetlands in Minnesota received a Citation.
The judges based their decisions on four criteria: design excellence, functional utility, response to patient and family needs, and flexibility of design.
Two architectural firms were multiple winners this year. Anshen+Allen Architects of San Francisco won an Award of Excellence in the unbuilt category for Children's Hospital and Health Center Convalescent Care Hospital in San Diego and an Award of Excellence in the built category for a remodeling of the UCSF Pediatric Clinics in San Francisco. Also, NBBJ, in Columbus, Ohio, received both an Honorable Mention and a Citation in the built category.
The awards will be presented Oct. 11 in Chicago at the academy's annual conference.