While children's hospitals might have pioneered the inclusion of positive distractions, Rossen says the “Crayola crayon box design,” popular 10 years ago, is going away as facilities become more sophisticated in recognizing that these distractions have to be “relatable to people of all ages.”
Jarvis explains that cancer patients are repeat visitors and might come to a facility every day for weeks. And, while they are not bedridden, they might be frail, very sick and would rather be at home, at work or digging in their gardens—anywhere but a treatment center. So there is a necessity to provide an interesting environment and allow for either privacy or company depending on how the patient is feeling that day.
Three projects are components of master plans: The curving front exterior of the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital is but one segment of an arc serving as the new “front door” for the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center complex and marks the completion of its 10-year “transformation.” The execution of Seattle Children's 2030 plan is just getting started and its Building Hope: Cancer, Critical and Emergency Care Expansion project serves as the foundation for redevelopment efforts. Likewise, the Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center at Boston Medical Center also is the starting point of its campus redevelopment.
The Mother Baby Center is something different. It's a joint venture between two Minneapolis providers where separate-but-neighboring facilities created something new. “It's not Children's, it's not Abbott Northwestern,” says Mike Rodriguez, associate vice president and senior project designer at the architectural firm HDR. “They had to check that at the door and come up with something unique with new colors and a new brand.”
Richard Kobus, senior principal of Tsoi/Kobus and Associates who designed the Shapiro Center, says that—in an age of financial and political uncertainty—architecture provides clarity while creating a quality care environment.
“In this time of cost cutting, why does architecture matter?” he asks. “Because it instills pride in the staff and makes them feel enabled to do their job more effectively. It says this building is all about giving quality care and a quality experience of care.”
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