At St. Joseph’s Hospital in the aptly named Eureka, California, workers at a healthcare construction project discovered a time capsule ensconced behind a memorial plaque attached to a hospital exterior wall. Inside they found, perfectly preserved since 1954, copies of dedication speeches, silver and gold engraved medals, and prayer cards celebrating the opening of the Catholic hospital. St. Joseph’s administration said it is now organizing a new time capsule for the new patient tower’s opening in 2010.
But why should they have all the fun? What if you were to devise a time capsule of your own for your next healthcare project? What would you include? For my part, I would throw in things of almost guaranteed obsolescence. How about a multiple-patient room design, a can of “healthcare green” paint, a photo of a small-windowed exterior, some multi-colored wayfinding floor tapes, perhaps a bulb from a fluorescent overhead? Or how about, with the advent of BIM and its purported effect on planning, a stack of change orders or a value engineering report? Maybe somewhere in there we can stuff some early definitions of “evidence-based” or “green” design, which will be old-hat language decades from now. But enough about me, what about you? Your candidates for the time capsule will include….