Offering refreshing solutions to projects’ specific design challenges, three of this year’s Healthcare Design Architectural and Interior Design Showcase submissions earned a Citation of Merit Honorable Mention.

Winding road
Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, Wash.; ZGF Architects LLC
Seattle Children’s “Building Hope” project, completed in April 2013, includes a 330,000-square-foot expansion with a focus on family-centered care. Among desired outcomes for the project was an ED design that would eliminate waiting and maximize visibility.

To that end, the space plan places a registered nurse near the department’s entrance to quickly assess a child’s condition and, in most cases, move families along to one of 38 exam rooms. There, registration will take place after a primary care team sees the patient. Relying on Lean design, as well as feedback from families and staff, traditional ED design was replaced with a new twist—literally. The floor plan uses an S-shaped configuration, with large glass doors on patient rooms for added visibility, caregivers stationed in central work areas, and alcoves outside each room where families and caregivers can talk.

One juror notes the “sinuous curve and open plan at the ED are a refreshing change from the typical ED,” while others recognized its use of Lean principles, uncluttered waiting area, and design with patient and staff processes in mind.


Double vision
Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, Rio Rancho, N.M.; Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
As part of a cultural shift toward embracing innovation, lean operations, and evidence-based design, Presbyterian Healthcare Services’ first facility to apply these principles is the Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho, N.M., completed in September 2011.

Among specific design goals for the community hospital was implementation of a patient-centered inpatient unit. To accomplish this, the team first decided on decentralized nurses’ stations. But between-room alcoves—the industry’s newest darling—were prohibited by New Mexico’s life safety code, not to mention there were concerns regarding limited workspace and privacy/security issues.

The solution? Nurses’ stations across from every two patient rooms, so staff can see into the rooms but at an allowable configuration.

Jury comments include: “interesting adaptation of decentralized nursing,” “a lot of thought put into the details,” and “focus on patient-centered care clearly a priority.”


Color splash
Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, Birmingham, Ala.; HKS Inc.
Completed in June 2012, the 750,000-square-foot Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children had a number of goals attached to it, from reducing healthcare-associated infections to decreasing family stress to increasing staff satisfaction. It also had to be a place that spoke both to the Birmingham, Ala., community as well as international residents, while also appealing to a patient population ranging from age 2 to 18.

The design team opted to blend playful and sophisticated without creating a space that feels overly themed. Meanwhile, the building itself provides “a neutral envelope” with plenty of pops of color. But that color is found in easily changeable finishes like paint, upholstery, and carpeting, allowing for quick updates down the road. As for that local flavor, the project used only community artists and craftspeople for the art program, graphic program, and donor wall.

“Interiors are gorgeous,” “use of art is brilliant,” “clean, modern aesthetic,” and “ease of color scheme change in the future” were among the notes jurors made for this honorable mention.


For more on the projects awarded a Citation of Merit, see the following: