Firm's role on the project: Intuitive vehicular arrival and pedestrian circulation.
Bridgeport Hospital’s project goal was to update its community hospital lobby and sub-brand it as a connection to its newly affiliated Yale New Haven Health System network.
The use of a variety of materials reflected both the access to natural light and helped highlight landmarks making it easier to find one’s ultimate destination. The floor plans provided evidence-based design circulation features and respite choices, designed to the scale and pattern of the population’s needs. The hypothesis was to develop a place of wellbeing by taking a busy commercial space and allowing it to reflect the variability one senses when traveling through natural elements that are calming, clear and intuitive.
The design challenge was to provide improved and more intuitive vehicular arrival and pedestrian circulation patterns that would result in a better patient and family experience of care. The experience of care is tied directly to the first impressions formed as one navigates access from parking structures and curbside drop-off, to the facility. These impressions continue to form as one experiences pedestrian arrival and exiting patterns. At the same time the health system was in the process of developing a systemwide vision to improve the patient experience, creating healing environments by addressing facility related issues from “clean" to "quiet”. Changes in operational models always create challenges in facility design. New hospital branding and electronic systems integration through multi-phased renovations within an active environment also provided obvious challenges. Creating a design solution that resonates as a place of wellbeing generally causes one to pause and reflect on the difference this facility experience would be from a stereotypical healthcare experience. Using evidence and baseline data to launch design solutions, helped to mitigate some of the concerns to support full patient and visitor empowerment while maintaining a safe and easily secured environment of care.
Solutions were created that offered positive distractions through retail amenities, options for respite in a variety of seating options, and improved circulation patterns providing clear and calming wayfinding to key first floor portals and central elevators located deep within the facility. The design solution’s intent was to create a place to pause and gather navigational information intuitively or through interaction with a live greeter before one went on a journey to get to a final destination in this large medical facility. A water feature at the entry was placed amidst a computer cafe that segregated the hustle and bustle of a busy lobby from those that were seeking respite in an open environment, much like a quiet urban setting within a natural park.
Creating a design solution that resonates as a place of wellbeing generally causes one to pause and reflect on the difference this facility experience would be from a stereotypical healthcare experience. Using evidence and baseline data to launch design solutions, helped to mitigate some of the concerns to support full patient and visitor empowerment while maintaining a safe and easily secured environment of care.