In a recent conversation with a peer, I was taken aback when I heard her say that places like dentist offices, eye clinics, and the like weren’t “real” healthcare facilities. Where else would such buildings be categorized?

Inspired by this conversation, this month’s Showcase facility (found on page 104) is a bit of a departure from the sort of thing we normally feature in that slot-the City of Hope Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center for Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Tumor Immunology. Designed by Perkins+Will, this state-of-the-art facility houses research labs, a radiopharmacy suite, a GMP-compliant cell production plant, an auditorium, and even a graduate school. The one thing it does not host, however, is a single patient bed, or even a treatment area.

I was moved to feature this building (and in a most prominent way) to call attention to the types of facilities that operate “behind the scenes” of healthcare, so to speak. The City of Hope campus also features, not coincidentally, a new hospital directly adjacent to the Beckman Center, the Helford Clinical Research Hospital. But we chose to feature the Beckman Center instead, with all its glorious lab benches and the like, to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the people and places that bring critical research in the treatment of diseases to the masses. And of course, the thoughtful design of the building and its “bench to bedside” processes didn’t hurt either.

In any case, I’d love to feature more of these sorts of “out of way” buildings in future editions of HEALTHCARE DESIGN-next month, in fact, we’ll be featuring an article on retail clinics and a profile of a spectacular hospital dining area. So I ask you, our in-touch audience, to let me know: What other sorts of buildings are out there that you’d like to see us cover that are slightly off the beaten path? Drop me a line and let me know. HD

Todd Hutlock, Editor-in-Chief Healthcare Design 2010 May;10(5):8