Celebrating our 85th Anniversary: Project Spotlight
This year Steffian Bradley Architects (SBA) is incredibly fortunate to be celebrating 85 years in business. We are commemorating this milestone with a series of blog articles on our past, present and future.
This month we take a look back at one of SBA’s “legacy projects”, Baystate Health – D’Amour Center for Cancer Care. An award-winning landmark project for the Baystate Health complex in Springfield, the 64,000 square-foot D’Amour Center for Cancer Care was the first free-standing, multi-disciplinary, comprehensive oncology facility in the northeastern United States. Completed in 2004, SBA designed the D’Amour Center to focus on patient healing in an environment where simplified navigation routes and a comforting interior design serve to minimize feelings of anxiety and loneliness.
Through extensive collaboration with physicians, clinicians, cancer survivors, and community support activists, the design team enhanced both patient comfort and operational efficiency. Medical delivery processes have been re-engineered to create a more personal and comforting treatment facility that addresses the physical and psychological needs of staff, patients, and visitors
One of the key design elements for the Center focused on maximizing access to natural light in living rooms and public spaces through dropped ceiling planes and light coves. The first and second floor living rooms follow the curve of the atrium’s skylight and are conveniently located adjacent to treatment areas articulating the patient’s way to and from these areas. The second floor café, filled with natural light from the atrium and two-story curtain wall, provides open space for social interaction. Light from the glass curtain wall also warms second floor counseling rooms and the resource room, located adjacent to the lobby to provide patients easy access to educational materials and the Internet.
Indirect lighting highlights areas of patient-staff interaction, working together with natural light to articulate the patient’s way to and from treatment spaces. In the narrow corridors borrowed light from translucent glass walls, curved compact fluorescent slots and back-lit panels provide dramatic illumination. Effective lighting and short travel distances eliminate the need for most conventional signage.
The nature of cancer treatment dictates multiple trips to the care facility. To provide patients with different experiences over repeated visits, artwork and interior elements are varied in color, style and use to provide varied visual interest. A carefully selected warm, natural color palette for finishes, furnishings and wall coverings combined with nature-themed art evoke feelings of serenity and comfort. All selected artwork recall elements of nature, including dramatic x-rays of flowers and leaves, photography, and unique nature-detail collages commissioned for each linear accelerator area.
Patient-friendly sustainable design elements were used throughout the building whenever possible: antimicrobial linoleum floors in all treatment areas; “clean room” recycled fiberglass ceilings that inhabit bacteria and mold growth; Corian countertops that are impervious to water and moisture; and a woven polyethylene wall covering made from 100-percent recycled material that protects exam room walls at wheelchair level, reducing the need for repainting.
The D’Amour Center for Cancer Care was a recipient of the notable American Society of Healthcare Engineering/American Hospital Association’s Vista Team Award. In addition this project also received the following awards: AIA/Modern Healthcare 2004 Design Award - Honorable Mention for Healthcare Facilities Design, Boston Society of Architects - Healthcare Design Award for Interior Design, Healthcare Design 2004/Architectural Review - Citation of Merit, IIDA & ASID - BSA Architecture and Interior Design Award, Illumination Engineering Society of North America - International Illumination Design Award, and The Light & Architecture Magazine - Outstanding Achievement Design Award.
Our long-standing relationship with Baystate Health and SBA continues to this day. As we continue look back upon our history, we are excited to share special moments that have shaped the foundation of who SBA is today. As always, we feel very fortunate and honored to be able to continue to design environments that enhance people’s lives, and hope to be able to do so for the next 85 years!