The whole team with the finished structure!

The whole team with the finished structure!

Durham, CT—Wednesday, May 14th:  The humming of heavy machinery filled the air while hundreds of construction professionals watched students from all over Connecticut hunch over stacks of canned lima beans and tuna fish with one goal – to fight hunger by building the best structure out of canned food.

Sound strange? If you are not familiar with the international charity Canstruction®, it’s understandable. Canstruction is a unique charity that brings architects and students together to build colossal structures made entirely out of canned food that is later donated to local food banks. After the structures are built judges give out prizes such as “Best Meal” and “People’s Choice.”

This year, Canstruction was held at the Durham Fairgrounds during the “Construction Pro Rodeo,” a construction home show that holds skills competitions and career days.  Steffian Bradley Architects’ (SBA) Enfield office teamed up with students from Windsor High School to build a colorful chameleon with the slogan, “Changing the Color of Hunger.” The students came up with the concept after learning that, despite popular belief, chameleons change color based on their emotions, and not the color of their surroundings.

Though there were some concerns that the wind might blow the structures over (we had not designed for wind load!), all of the can structures successfully went up and stayed up. SBA’s chameleon won “Best Use of Labels.” And the best part – over 3,100 cans were donated to the Windsor Food Bank by our team.


Architect Karri May assists during can-struction.

Architect Karri May assists during can-struction.

Windsor High School students working hard!

Windsor High School students working hard!

Todd Schildknecht, a project designer at SBA, cut some of the levels on-the-fly!

Todd Schildknecht, a project designer at SBA, cut some of the levels on-the-fly!

The finished structure.

The finished structure.

Another team's project was based off The Hunger Games.

Another team’s project was based off The Hunger Games.

Another team's project depicted a barn scene.

Another team’s project depicted a barn scene.


The Baystate Children’s Specialty Center is part of Baystate Medical Center’s effort to increase their off-campus outpatient offerings and locate them in one easy-to-access medical campus that could facilitate future growth and allow for “one stop shopping” of medical services.

Exterior of The Baystate Children's Specialty Center

Situated alongside two understated, developer designed medical office buildings, the building exterior utilizes a combination of intertwining brick and metal panels to create a distinct identity while blending with the traditional masonry of the surrounding buildings.


With the Orthopedic Surgery Center on the upper floor and the Children’s Specialty Center on the lower floor, the massing and play of exterior materials carries into a grand entry lobby to reinforce the breakdown of the programs and assist patients in wayfinding. The waiting rooms from both practices take advantage of borrowed natural light in the lobby. Light fixtures hung at different heights create a sculptural feel within the volume of the Atrium. The atrium is not only an entry, it is a multi-functional space where patients, families and staff can eat lunch, wait for rides, or simply relax.

The Playtrium

The Spirit of the Child: A Rainbow of Color

The Children’s Specialty Center

To help young patients cope with the anxiety and stress of medical treatment, the waiting room has been designated the Playtrium. The high-tech center features dedicated play spaces as well as colorful furnishings and hands-on activities.

Joyful Diversions

Joyful Diversions

The Playtrium is adorned by the canopy of the PlayTree and full of entertaining activities and stimulating displays, including an interactive fish pond.

The Path to Wellness

The Path to Wellness

As patients leave the Playtrium and make their way to their Medical Neighborhood, they travel down the Path to Wellness while a sculptural cloud above them alternates colors.

Color Coordination

Color Coordination

Each medical neighborhood is defined by a color range, reiterated at each exam room with an identifying hue wrapping from the corridor into each unique room. The colors assist with wayfinding and give the specialties an identity.

Exam Room

Examining Space

The Center is divided into five neighborhoods to reduce the overall ‘hospital’ feel and to reduce the walking distance for both patients and staff. Precepting rooms located near the exam rooms facilitate the teaching of residents and fellows.

Children’s Specialty Features:

  • 15 Pediatric Specialty Practices
  • 36  Exam Rooms
  • 10 Consult Rooms
  • 8 Precepting Rooms
  • EEG Room
  • PFT Room
  • Stress Test Room
  • Echo Room
  • 30 Doctor Offices
  • Dedicated Lab
  • Group Room


South Shore Medical Center (SSMC), founded in 1962, is an independently owned, not-for-profit multi-specialty practice with over 80 providers providing services in multiple locations south of Boston. Two of those facilities were consolidated into a new 84,000 SF ambulatory care building which is now the anchor of a planned medical campus called ‘Longwater Place’ in Norwell, MA

This free-standing building consists of two occupied clinical floors and a penthouse that contains the main mechanical room, facility storage, and IT storage. The two largest departments, Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, are located on the second floor; while Pediatric Medicine and Specialty Medicine anchor the first floor. There are two primary entrances to the building, which separate the pediatric and adult patients, and a central atrium that spans the length of the building and connects these two entrances, providing a clear circulation route for patient flow. A curved monumental stair is the focal point of the central atrium and the central check-in desk, which is located at the base of the monumental stair, is clearly visible from both entrances.

In addition to Pediatrics and Specialties, the other departments located on the first floor – radiology, testing, blood draw, community education, and a full service café – are services utilized by patients from all the clinics and all are easily accessible from the central atrium. The clinical lab – which includes chemistry, urinalysis, hematology, BAC-T, and a large processing area – provides all lab work for the building and supports other clinics in the region.

The second floor is organized so that Wellness & Behavioral Health is between Family Med and Internal Med, with a common corridor connecting all three, since these providers primarily see the IM and FM patient populations. Furthermore, the location of Wellness/ BH is perfectly situated to be a possible swing space for IM or FM on busy days, since all adult exam rooms are standardized. Corporate and Clinical Administration is also on the second floor, adjacent to FM. Currently there is enough room for administration, but the intention is that this space will provide flexibility and future expansion options for FM or the ability to add a new clinical service area.

Staff Support and conference areas are on the second floor between IM and Administration. Staff amenities include an outdoor terrace, staff kitchen, and private phone rooms which are all accessible from the staff lounge, as well as private shower and toilet facilities.

The Conference Center, which is across from the staff lounge, is a large room with an operable wall that divides it into two rooms and a break-out area adjacent to the rooms. The intent is not only for staff to utilize the space, but also for patient education and meetings. Other patient education rooms and group rooms are located in Wellness/ BH and on level one adjacent to the adult entrance.

This space has received the prestigious Sustainability Award for Green Construction from the Massachusetts Association of General Contractors!
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Baystate Children’s Specialty Center Officially Opens

SBA and Baystate Medical Center celebrated the opening of the brand new Baystate Children’s Specialty Center in Springfield, MA.  Attendees were given tours of the 30,000 sqft facility, which houses all of Baystate’s 15 Pediatric Specialties ranging from Endocrinology and Weight Management to Neurology and Genetics.

Designers Rebeccah Eldridge, Derek Noble, and Kirsten Waltz all attended the event, reporting that, “Everyone from the new President/CEO Mark Keroack to the staff that spoke had high praises for the design and construction team.  Families and patients love the space.”

The opening attracted a lot of media attention, with ABC 40, 22 News, and CBS 3 News reporting.

You can view more pictures of the laughter-filled event on Mass and on our Facebook page!

Learn more about the history of this exciting project.

Steffian Bradley was one of the sponsors of the 2014 student charrette organized by the Architects for Health (AfH) over a week long period in late January.  The charrette asked students to prepare a design for a new hospital tower on the Guy’s Hospital site adjacent to the existing Guys’s Tower in central London adjacent to Europe’s Tallest building, the 1024 ft tall Shard by Renzo Piano. The brief included the invitation to design a building as a civic gesture as a riposte to the London skyline dominated by the skyscrapers of city institutions.  The content of the tower included, but was not limited to, acute care, intermediate bedrooms for recovery, none acute community health services, a patient hotel and extra-care living accommodation including associated leisure and social functions.

Jiri Richter of SBA London participated on the winning team, developing a solution which took inspiration from the surrounding historic urban context and addressed the 2 key questions with any skyscraper: how does it meet the ground and the sky. Borough High-Street leading to London Bridge is adjacent to the site and due to the streets important cultural links in the community, the team looked at the composition of the High Street with its ground floor conglomerate of bakers, banks, shops, barbers, restaurants, theatres, post offices etc… contrasting with the mundane living spaces above (flats and hotels). This unplanned layering and contrasting of quiet-loud, open-closed, private-public spaces allowed the team to build a narrative of a vertical high-street tower where given hospital spatial functions were mixed with social programs in an attempt of a more civic approach to the traditional hospital. As a result, similar to the existing community, the team looked at organizing the vertical tower by mix-matching inpatient beds with gardens and libraries, patient hotels with theatres and cinemas, health centers with green spaces, pubs, cafes and restaurants with private, extra care apartments and acute facilities.  This approach was pivotal in the jury’s naming Jiri’s team as the overall winner of the week long charrette.

AfH Competition

Caption: Jiri Richter’s study model of the winning scheme of the AfH 2014 Design Competition for Guys St Thomas’ NHS Trust