Interior Design magazine features Firstenburg Tower
February 1, 2008
A beacon of healing
PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center’s new E.W. and Mary Firstenburg Tower is featured in the February 2008 Interior Design magazine. The latest tour de force of Seattle architect, NBBJ, the Firstenburg Tower design puts the human factor first. Innovation started with a basic question: How do you ameliorate the fear factor? “We added inspiration, beauty and healing to the usual survey of operations, functions, and space programming,” said NBBJ’s Rysia Suchecka.
NBBJ’s team of architects and designers spent nine months observing and analyzing the hospital experience from the point of view of patients and visitors. Lead architect and NBBJ partner, Richard Dallam, even went so far as to have his staff push him around on a gurney to see what the patient sees from that position. The result is indirect lighting fixtures that don’t blind patients from above.
Interior Design understandably focuses the bulk of their article on key interior dimensions including the light-filled and curvaceous lobby space. “Clearly visible behind a wall of glass, the lobby could well be mistaken for reception at a five-star hotel. A ribbon of luminous copper-painted drywall swoops high above shining cross-cut travertine flooring inset with mahogany-colored carpet.”
“The lobby is an animal of its own,” Suchecka remarks. It’s meant to offer all the amenities visitors might need, including retail, and to be a draw for the community-a heal resource center as well as a daylit-lofty space in which to celebrate, say a good diagnosis.”
Interior Design describes the Tower’s patient floors as light, bright and calm, with hallways painted warm cream and pale teal instead of antiseptic white or gruesome green. To reduce nose levels, so people get the rest they need, NBBJ carpeted the floor and placed utility closes away from patient rooms. All corridors feature windows at both ends and daylight streams into the corridors through frosted glass sliding doors in the patient rooms. Accommodations include sleeping sofas for visitors.
The Tower is also home to a state of the art cardiovascular unit on the ground level and a total of 15 new operating rooms. Above, 144 single rooms will compose the five patient floors.
You can read the entire Interior Design feature article online.