Hospital Design Project: Cisco LifeConnections Health Center
Location: San Jose, CA
Hospital Interior Design: Jain Malkin Inc
The focus on holistic wellness generated a healthcare design concept that was relevant both thematically and as an organizational component of the space plan. Four rotundas or nodes, each with a large light well/skylight to draw light into the core of the medical clinic express the body, heart, mind, or spirit—principal constructs of holistic healing.
Another feature of the space plan is the ability of caregivers to circulate within and access care suites from “off-stage” corridors. This provides more privacy for staff and prevents patients from overhearing conversations. In turn, patient privacy and dignity are paramount in this medical clinic design which employs all possible measures to assure acoustic integrity.
Hospital Design Firm Jain Malkin Inc. has moved to La Jolla, California and changed its focus to direct consultation with Jain Malkin.
- Working with architectural firms to enhance the creativity of their interior design staff
- Consultation on the application of color for interior environments
- Evidence-based design expertise for acute care, ambulatory care (including community health centers) or design for aging; working collaboratively with architectural firms or directly with owners.
We appreciate everyone for reading the Hospital Design Blog and would like to tell you about the launch of a new interior design resource called the Healthcare Design Blog. On this blog, expert healthcare interior designer Jain Malkin and her associates including, Christie Mayer and Michele Woodard will be posting entries about a variety of topics within the healthcare design industry.
The topics for the new blog include organizing healthcare design team meetings, specialized furniture and paint for hospitals, exam room design and other facets of the healthcare design world. We invite you to check out the Healthcare Design Blog.
That’s a good question. Research-based design―research about the environment―has been around for a very long time and I think thoughtful architects and designers have for many years employed research in an informal way when they’re designing spaces. I would say the best architects and designers have very good intuition as well that feeds into that. But just using research does not mandate in and of itself that you’re going to embark upon a formal process.
When we’re talking about evidence-based design, there is a formal process that one has to follow and this is outlined in the book. You start with the hypothesis, here’s what I think will be true if we design the nursing unit this way, and then, if you’re an architectural firm, one of the best things to do is find a consultant who is perhaps associated with an academic institution, a researcher, to work with you to develop this. I am vastly simplifying the process in this description but it starts with a literature review and figuring out with hospital leadership the best issues to study (more…)
I was enraged, I would say is not too strong a word, at seeing several very “bland” hospitals that had opened recently having spent all that money to create a stark environment, with all white walls and very little to provide a few moments of delight for anxious patients. In one of these hospitals touted as a “total healing environment,” the maternity unit did not look any different than the standard med/surg unit and there was nothing even in the baby nursery to cue this is where babies are born, to celebrate that event. So I was outraged and I started writing this as a manifesto to say, “This can’t go on; people have got to be aware of this and not let this keep happening.” This is a regression to pre-Planetree hospital aesthetics from the early 1980s.
As to what to include, I firmly believe that we need to pay more attention to areas where patients spend their time and where they are “captive.” As an outpatient, you can decide, for instance, if it’s a depressing experience, to go someplace else for care. But once you are admitted to a hospital for surgery or whatever your condition is, you are there and, in a sense, you’re a prisoner. You can’t just pick up and leave. This is where people are really vulnerable.
Writing “A Visual Reference to Evidence-Based Design” was a journey of discovery and learning for me. Typically when one writes a new book, one outlines the book in great detail and you know exactly where you want to go. You have a road map and that’s what you’re going to research and what you’re going to talk about. Well, I thought I knew what this book was going to be about in the beginning and, in fact, I thought it was going to be perhaps spiral bound as a notebook with lots of annotated photos depicting how research was applied to support the design of those facilities, whether individual rooms or entire nursing care units.
The book at that time and, in actuality, focuses on acute care, not outpatient, and specifically areas of direct patient care—places where patients spend their time—not lobbies or public spaces. And the reason I did this is because I had seen several recently completed hospitals that had great lobbies and then the design features abruptly ended. Except for the computers I saw, they were very bland, colorless spaces and it took me back to the 1970s, before Planetree. I was shocked that I could be seeing this today. I found this so distressing that I decided to write a manifesto about it. So the book started as a polemic around that issue and I sought out examples of projects that carried design features into patient care areas.
I was motivated to write my latest hospital design book, “A Visual Reference to Evidence-Based Design” after seeing three hospitals in a row that had been completed in the last couple of years and touted as the “ultimate in healing environments” and when I hear that, of course, my expectations are very high.
In all three cases when I personally toured the facilities, I was surprised to see that the design features and nice design amenities stopped in the lobby and, once I passed through the lobby, it was as if I were in a 1970s or 1980s hospital in that I saw a lot of white walls and a very institutional appearance. Except for the computers and monitors that were omnipresent, it was like stepping backwards in time.