Richard L. Peck

Bill Thomas: The Nursing Home Abolitionist

With his "Green House model," Thomas redefined the long-term care environment and turned the old nursing home model upside down.

For decades the popular image of the typical nursing home has been one of confinement—a sort of hybrid hospital/prison. It features zonked-out old people tied to wheelchairs nodding off in long, featureless corridors or crying out for help from steel-framed beds. Small wonder that elder moms and dads pledge their offspring to “never send me to a nursing home, I’d…

Evidence-based Design

Recently a friend and her son visited a modern healthcare facility and, on the way to their relative’s room, came across the well-appointed lobby with sculptural features, art on the walls and warm colors. “Wonder what that’s costing?” said the son. “That’s one area they might save on healthcare costs.” My initial response, when I heard this, was that a…

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…

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….