New imaging facility by Ward + Blake takes inspiration from spa design
The doctors had a vision of patient comfort, cutting-edge architecture and exceptional treatment harmonious to their mission statement. The program required comfort and privacy for primarily female clientele, cutting-edge medical technology and procedures, environmental sensitivity and a sense of place within small-town community. During design development the doctors joined forces with a hospital board that didn’t share the original vision. Six alternative designs were explored with the board gravitating back to the original scheme.
The architects selected a 'spa' design model after looking to the hospitality industry for approaches consciously associated with wellness. A desire to enhance mental wellness extended to every detail. The facility breaks the 'dark box' look of many imaging centres using eco-friendly emphasis on natural light. Clerestory windows throughout corridors bring light from exterior windows and skylights to brighten interior spaces. Two-stage corridor sensors adjust lighting according to natural levels.
Materials throughout were selected for durability and maintenance. Spa-style materials including natural slate, resilient flooring mimicking hardwood, carpet tiles, birch wainscoting, and cedar ceilings accentuate the atmosphere. The lobby is enhanced with a fireplace and separate seating groups. Facility includes MRI, CAT Scan, Xray, Mammogram, Ultra-Sound, Bone Density, Multi-Diagnostic (Angio) modalities and is designed for future Nuclear Medicine modality.
A separate porte-cochere exit allows women to leave without returning to the lobby, reflecting sensitivity to potential physical and emotional effects of treatment / diagnoses. A drug lab servicing this facility and people on probation is accessed separately to avoid clientele crossover.
Parking separates staff and patients and a curving barrel vault roof harmonises with iconic regional potato cellars. Landscaping nestles the building into its flat, open site. The building is super-insulated to reduce energy load and employs efficient Daikin air conditioning to air heat exchanger controls, forcing mechanical system temperature. High-efficiency exterior glazing reduces heat gain, energy loss and glare, with large eaves for shading.