Winners of Modern Healthcare's 32nd annual Design Awards are at the forefront of two major industry trends: building flexible spaces that can withstand dramatic changes to the healthcare delivery model and re-connecting patients and their providers to nature in environmentally friendly facilities.
Of the four awards this year, two went to projects that not only incorporated nature into the building's design but also extended the facilities into the outdoors to benefit patients, providers and the greater community—bronze medal-winning Indian River Medical Center Scully-Welsh Cancer Center in Vero Beach, Fla., designed by Array Architects, and the Meridian Center for Health in Seattle, designed by NBBJ, winner of the environmentally friendly award.
All four facilities—including gold medal winner Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, designed by HDR and Gensler in association with CWa and EGG Office; and silver medal winner Children's Pavilion at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, designed by HKS—were built in flexible spaces to accommodate evidence-based care and a future where new approaches have yet to be discovered.
Much of the flexibility comes from buildings' infrastructure, said NBBJ Senior Associate Brian Uyesugi, who served as the lead designer on the Meridian Center for Health. It requires designers and clients to have the foresight to build spaces that will serve as a med-surg room today and an ICU room tomorrow, added design award judge Mary Frazier, principal at New York City-based integrated firm EwingCole.