Healthcare Architecture

Q&A: Pliny Fisk III & Gail Vittori

We at Metropolis have a great fondness for Pliny Fisk III. When we first visited him at his nascent experimental compound on the outskirts of Austin, TX there was no USGBC, no LEED, no Energy Star, and only a few of us talked about environmental sustainability and the necessity for great and far-reaching innovation in everything from building materials to…

Modernism Mummified

The Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust Company building at 510 Fifth Avenue, New York. The lower levels are being renovated. The ancient Egyptians were the ur-preservationists, but I have always thought that there was something perverse about their method of immortalizing dead kings. The first part of the process, carried out by skilled professionals, was to extract all the internal organs of…

Q&A: Rosalyn Cama

When I heard that Rosalyn Cama, principal of the New Haven firm, CAMA, Inc., was about to speak at Lightfair (Philadelphia, May 17-19) I jumped at the chance to engage her in conversation about the relationship of light and health.  My motivation was strictly personal. I’ve spent enough time in hospitals, both as a patient and frequent visitor, to know…

Minnesota Students in Haiti

We are among six students and one professor, from the University of Minnesota Architecture School working in Haiti on the Collège Mixte LaConcorde Orphanage project, under the auspices of Architecture for Humanity (AFH), to design a school and orphanage complex from site-work to construction documents in Carrefour, Haiti.  AFH’s relief efforts here are currently being operated out of the Petion-Ville…

The Rocky Road to Green Design

Photo: Morley Von Sternberg. It’s ironic to think that some of the most pleasant and appealing structures in the U.S. have had some of the most painful births. Take Yale’s Kroon Hall. This $33.5 million LEED Platinum flagship building of the University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES), opened last spring, has the comforting exterior of a classic Connecticut…

Designing to Heal: Luxury Healthcare

Where can one find world class doctors, highly customized medical plans, a five star spa, health club, and restaurant? The Chaum Center, in Seoul, Korea, designed by KMD architects, combines all these things in an attempt to transform health care. Housed in a futuristic building with lavish amenities and design elements, the Chaum Center is certainly a far cry from…

A Confusing Design Decade

Design award categories are often unfortunate anachronisms. Most awards are given in categories based on disciplines — “Furniture Design”, “Consumer Products” – and then the organizers resort to lengthy definitions to try and force today’s exciting, interdisciplinary work into these outdated boxes. And as we saw with the I.D Annual Design Review, the results are not very convincing. The recently…

Celebrating the Corncobs, Saving the Clover Leaf

The curvaceous forms created by Chicago architect Bertrand Goldberg are rather susceptible to unfortunate botanical nicknames. His “Corncobs”– the concrete twin towers of Marina City, which are a Chicago icon (left) — will turn 50 on November 22nd this year. The Portland Cement Association (PCA) is organizing a conference to mark the occasion, and the Architecture Foundation will offer special…

Brain Health

Though I edited the magazine Healthcare Design for eight years, and wrote and commented upon dozens of projects, I’ve seldom visited them personally to see what they really look like and how well they work. An exciting exception occurred this past October, when on a trip to Las Vegas I visited the Frank Gehry-designed Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health….

Design Conference, Tweeted.

There were too many things vying for the audience’s attention at the “Why Design Now?” conference hosted in New York City on October 1st by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum and GE. It was hard enough staying focused on the speakers, when you could see the dramatic vista of Columbus Circle behind the stage. But my attention also kept wandering…

The Green Vanguard: H is for Health Care

Designed by Gianfranco Zaccai HERMAN MILLER Just over 40 years ago, Robert Propst checked into the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor for back surgery. During his six-week convalescence, the president of Herman Miller Research Corp. and inventor of the company’s Action Office noticed that the hospital’s inefficient supply, storage, and distribution sys-tems placed unnecessary strain on doctors, nurses,…

Living Light?

Jan Gehl, the Danish architect, author of the influential book Cities for People, and consultant to the NYC Department of City Planning, spoke recently at New York’s Center for Architecture. He focused, as he does in his public appearances, on the human experience of streets, with an emphasis on what we see at eye level. His is fond of exploring…

Culturally-Determined Architecture for Children’s Health

Course# Met117 This course is AIA/CES registered for 1LU/HSW. Meyer Pediatric in Florence, Italy is a unique example of what happens when multiple firms come together under challenging circumstances to create a successful replacement of a beloved building. The article Hiding in the Hill from the September 2008 issue of Metropolis looks at this Tuscan hospital’s successful use of forward-looking…