Client: Maimonides Hospital Department of Pediatrics
Location: Brooklyn, 11204
Completion date: 2012
Inspired by the simple idea that design can emerge from the operational challenges of a space and its program, the new 8,500sf pediatrics facility is laid out to provide an efficient flow for the doctors, staff, and patients who are treated at this high-volume practice. The striking design creates a bright, clear, and positive first impression for patients and their families entering the space. The design balances the hospital’s rigorous operational and material requirements with a bold visual impact to highlight the places where children and their families spend the most time: the waiting areas.
The pediatric hospital’s “under the sea” theme is reinterpreted here through VAMOS’ use of highly textured and tactile materials, dramatic scale, and high-contrast aquatic graphics to evoke the sense of an immersive underwater experience. The upper surface of the blue object is encrusted with an array of acoustical tiles wrapped in perforated vinyl specifically designed to reduce the high noise levels in the lobby. Pendant lights are bundled together to create clusters of barnacle-like chandeliers. Large schools of fish, whales, divers, and jellyfish encircle the perimeter spaces and the bright-green wall base gives young patients a fun way-finding device to follow around the entire central object as they move from the waiting area, to the exam rooms, and back out to the main open space.
The layout of the space, the choreography of the patient experience and flow, and the design of the various tactile surfaces all encourage engagement, curiosity, and active participation in a space where patients and their families are often in an emotionally-charged state of mind.
VAMOS worked very closely with the physicians and staff teams at Maimonides and translated their operational flows directly into the layout of the space, creating a clear organization that enhances the delivery of treatment and improves the patient experience by facilitating seamless and intuitive movement through the space. The public waiting spaces are located in the sunny double-height perimeter areas while the exam rooms, storage, labs, and administrative functions are housed in a highly efficient object at the center of the space. The corners of the central core are rounded to better accommodate the busy flow of patients, doctors, and staff. VAMOS’ design takes great care to create identical layouts for all the exam rooms to provide the physicians with an intuitive and immediately familiar environment to administer treatment. This feature allows the doctors and staff to better serve the 200 patients and their families who move through the facility daily.
VAMOS Principal Silvia Fuster: “We looked beyond the bland material constraints associated with the medical typology and sought to create something that stimulates young patients’ imaginations and encourages them to think differently about going to the doctor and getting treatment. We used a design approach borrowed from our retail, temporary events, and pop-up experience to activate the design with a high-impact first impression.” VAMOS Principal Evan Bennett: “We sought to integrate health, positivity, and an unexpected design to change the way the young patients and visitors think about treatment and their health in general.”