In recent years, judges in the Modern Healthcare annual Design Awards contest noted how award-winning projects made exceptional use of natural light, and how the new facilities fit into and matched their environments.
Award-winning designs take approaches that benefit patients, family and staff
This year—the 24th annual design competition—judges noted these features again. But they also chose the projects that took a regional approach to the use of materials; made extraordinary efforts to accommodate family members and personal caregivers; incorporated way-finding elements as well as patient-safety and energy-efficiency concepts into their designs; attempted to ergonomically engineer a workplace that made life easier for hospital staff; and added amenities that could help recruit and retain top personnel.
As healthcare changes, judges and designers of winning projects noted that there has been a blurring of the lines between hospitals and hospitality, creating what contest judge Michael Anaya described as the “medical hotel.”
“Before, it was hospital stays and acute care,” says Anaya, CEO of 50-bed Colorado Plains Medical Center in Fort Morgan. “We need to specialize in wholeness, and architects are being asked to create—for lack of a better term—‘womb to tomb' facilities designed for multiple users.”
Some judges, however, felt a few entries took the hospitality angle a bit too far. “I didn't like the ones that tried to be something else, like a ski lodge or art museum, to try to make people feel like they weren't at a hospital,” says Paul Reich, a design architect with Chicago-based Roula Associates Architects. “Some of that was a little hokey.”
In all, three design architects, three healthcare architects and three healthcare CEOs judged 88 entries and chose seven award winners, which were scored on the basis of design excellence, functional utility, flexibility of design, and response to patients and family.
One Award of Excellence was made, and it went to 64-bed Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital in Grand Rapids, Minn., designed by Kahler Slater, Milwaukee. This award is the highest honor in the competition.
Three Honorable Mentions—the next highest award—were given. They went to the Children's Medical Center at Legacy project in Plano, Texas (which is associated with 314-bed Children's Medical Center of Dallas), and was designed by PageSoutherlandPage/Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, Los Angeles; the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, Outpatient Center in Baltimore, designed by Stanley Beaman & Sears, Atlanta; and the Stanford Medicine Outpatient Center in Redwood City, Calif., designed by Anshen & Allen, San Francisco.
Three Citations were awarded. They went to Mubadala Healthcare's Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), designed by the San Francisco office of HDR, Omaha, Neb.; the Cleveland Clinic Foundation's Miller Family Pavilion and the Glickman Tower in Cleveland, designed by NBBJ, Columbus, Ohio; and SSM St. Clare Health Center in unincorporated St. Louis County, Mo., designed by HGA Architects and Engineers, Milwaukee.
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