Cynthia Gerlach AIA
associate, Robinson Green Beretta
Timothy Kennedy AIA
associate, n|e|m|d architects
Mehdi Khosrovani AIA
president, n|e|m|d architects
This year, we reviewed 27 submissions to this biennial program focusing on healthcare facilities design. The projects represented work predominantly built in the Northeast by New England architects. We saw several examples of interesting large-scale work, though there was a good range in both scope and budget.
Overall, the body of work was strong, but because we were seeking to identify design excellence, we sought projects that went beyond being competent, nice, and pleasant.
Healthcare is very much about program. We looked for work in which the architect thought carefully about creating a positive patient experience that facilitated comfort and the preservation of personal dignity. Such attributes are often best articulated by choosing materials that are well proportioned and well thought out. Colors should be uplifting but not heavy-handed, childish, or garish. Style was of less interest to us. Our eyes were open to modern and traditional aesthetics. Sustainability is a baseline element in most mature design solutions these days. It’s presence was imperative. We sought clever solutions to clearly articulated design challenges. Innovation and creativity turned our heads. Perhaps more for healthcare facilities than other building types, a clear sense of entry and orientation is essential. A building’s positive interaction with its context contributed mightily to its success.
Not all firms have the budget to create glossy, transcendent presentations, but we advise future submitters to this program to take care with their portfolios. We judge your work on the basis of the material before us, and well-organized content supported by compelling diagrams and images is the only language jurors can understand. Provide us with clearly articulated design concepts and well-described problems and solutions.
We recognized 12 projects. Five were exquisite, representing a complete package of excellence. In each of these buildings, we found examples of profound creativity, innovation, and respect for the patients, families, and clinicians who used them.
We wish to express our appreciation to the architects who submitted work to this program, and to the BSA for the opportunity to serve as jurors.