Contract - Full of Grace: Perkins+Will designs a new hospice building model with the Willson Hospice House in Albany, Ga.

design - features - healthcare design



Full of Grace: Perkins+Will designs a new hospice building model with the Willson Hospice House in Albany, Ga.

02 May, 2011

-By Jean Nayar



Nestled in a picturesque pocket of a 200-acre swath of densely wooded wetlands in Albany, Ga., the Willson Hospice House, a wood-framed structure with gabled roofs, fieldstone accents, expansive windows, and sprawling porches, looks at first glance like an expansive home, communing graciously with its natural rural surroundings. Indeed, the 34,000-sq.-ft. structure was developed to shelter terminally ill patients and their families during the final days of life. Yet the building complex also is a highly functional medical facility, complete with all of the equipment—hospital-style beds, lighting, and nursing zones—required to meet the healthcare needs of dying patients. Designed by the Atlanta office of Perkins+Will, the thoughtfully planned, eco-friendly structure also is one of the country’s most progressive hospice facilities.

Developed to serve the 25-year-old hospice program of Albany’s Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the $13-million facility contains a 15,000-sq.-ft. administrative component that accommodates a staff of 50 home healthcare providers, who travel each day to minister to patients and their families in 11 surrounding counties. Most of the remaining portions of the facilities are divided into three pods, each containing six private patient rooms. “Hospices are a relatively new building type in the United States,” says Ila Burdette,

Perkins+Will’s principal architect in charge of the project. “When we started designing them in 1994, there were relatively few examples to look at. What was most important for our client was to create a building that would not look like a hospital, or a nursing home, or an ICU, but rather a place that would make people comfortable and relaxed in spaces that feel like home.”

As a result, all three of the patient-room pods of the Willson Hospice House are grouped around a shared family living room with space for dining, reading, and conversation. The patient rooms have a warm, residential quality, too. While each is equipped with oxygen, suction, gas, and other necessary medical equipment, these components are built into a millwork panel behind each bed and completely concealed from sight. The panel also extends over the bed to hide overhead exam lighting, which protects the patient from harsh illumination.

Arranged around a central courtyard with tranquility gardens beyond, each pair of patient rooms also shares a porch where family members can enjoy fresh air and views. Double doors in each patient room provide enough room for patient beds to be rolled outside, too. (The beds were specially designed with integrated light fixtures to allow them to be effortlessly disengaged from the wall and moved with ease.)

Interior features and finishes were designed to put both patients and family members at ease. “Since the large windows offer access to views of meadows and woods, we chose to use a variety of woods and other natural, honest materials, along with warm colors like butterscotch and caramel to complement the blues and greens of nature and make folks feel relaxed,” says interior design principal Amy Sickeler. A built-in bed/window seat provides a comfortable place for a family member to spend the night, and the large windows frame the view like a work of art. A chapel, music room, sunroom, playroom for children, and family kitchenette add further warmth and comfort to the facility. According to Patty Woodall, the Willson Hospice House’s executive director, the staff appreciates the beautiful, serene environs as much as the family and patients do. “The work they do is hard, but it’s much easier when the surroundings are beautiful,” she says.

Energy-efficient HVAC and lighting, water conservation features, rapidly renewable materials like bamboo, easy-to-clean antimicrobial linoleum, and durable wool carpet, and recycled materials like asphalt, steel, and concrete aggregate, contributed to earning the facility LEED Silver status. The facility and its grounds also have been designated a certified silver Audubon International Signature Sanctuary—the only healthcare facility to achieve this honor.

Not surprisingly, since it opened last summer, Willson Hospice House has swiftly garnered the affection of the community, which donated more than $7 million during the capital campaign for its construction costs (the hospital paid for the balance). “What I like most is that you have access to the outdoors everywhere,” says Dr. Lane Mathis Price, the facility’s medical director. “Right now the dogwoods are in bloom, the azaleas have buds, and there are walking paths all around. Once folks see the place, they become interested and want to be part of it, too—so in addition to visits by the Audubon Society, the Boy Scouts often do Eagle Scout-based projects here, and civic clubs, church clubs, Rotary clubs, and medical groups have made the facility useful for community activities, too,” she says. “This place is a miracle worker.”


who
Project: Willson Hospice House. Client: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Architect: Perkins+Will; Ila Burdette, Kenneth Moore, Helena O'Connor, Danny Scott, Patrick Carroll, Lance Galvin. Interior designer: Perkins+Will; Amy Sickeler, Inyoung Park. Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie. Consultants: KLMK Group, LLC (Program Management). Civil engineer: Lanier Engineering. Structural: Uzun & Case Engineers. Mechanical: Cornelius Engineering. Electrical: Spencer Bristol Engineering. Plumbing/Life Safety: Covalent Consulting. Kitchen: Strategic Equipment and Supply Corp. Landscape: Perkins+Will; Leo Alvarez, Alexander Stewart, Matt Malone, Justin Cooper, Valdis Zusmanis. Furniture dealer: The Printshop/MetroservicesOther: LEED Commissioning – Energy Ace. Photographer: Jim Roof Creative Photography, Inc.

what
Wallcoverings: Maharam, MDC Wallcovering. Paint: Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams. Laminate: Formica. Flooring: Plyboo Wood flooring, Forbo Linoleum tile, Expanko Cork tile. Carpet: Bentley Prince Street. Ceiling: Rulon Company. Lighting: Wigmore Lighting Designs, Louis Poulsen, Arturo Alvarez, Hampstead Lighting. Doors: Marshfield DoorSystems, Inc. Glass: Cardinal Glass Industries. Window treatments: Curtain (Architex). Lounge seating: Weatherend. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Weatherend, National / Kimball Office Group. Other seating: National / Kimball Office Group. Upholstery: Maharam, KnollTextile, Designtex, Momentum, Sunbrella. Conference table: National / Kimball Office Group. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: Weatherend, National / Kimball Office Group. Architectural woodworking: Columbus Cabinet. Signage: Miller EG Design.

where
Location: Albany, GA. Total floor area: Approx. 32,500. No. of floors: 1. Total staff size: 50 home care staff plus 20 inpatient staff during peak shift. Cost/sq. ft.: Approx. $275.



Full of Grace: Perkins+Will designs a new hospice building model with the Willson Hospice House in Albany, Ga.

02 May, 2011


Jim Roof Creative Photography

Nestled in a picturesque pocket of a 200-acre swath of densely wooded wetlands in Albany, Ga., the Willson Hospice House, a wood-framed structure with gabled roofs, fieldstone accents, expansive windows, and sprawling porches, looks at first glance like an expansive home, communing graciously with its natural rural surroundings. Indeed, the 34,000-sq.-ft. structure was developed to shelter terminally ill patients and their families during the final days of life. Yet the building complex also is a highly functional medical facility, complete with all of the equipment—hospital-style beds, lighting, and nursing zones—required to meet the healthcare needs of dying patients. Designed by the Atlanta office of Perkins+Will, the thoughtfully planned, eco-friendly structure also is one of the country’s most progressive hospice facilities.

Developed to serve the 25-year-old hospice program of Albany’s Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, the $13-million facility contains a 15,000-sq.-ft. administrative component that accommodates a staff of 50 home healthcare providers, who travel each day to minister to patients and their families in 11 surrounding counties. Most of the remaining portions of the facilities are divided into three pods, each containing six private patient rooms. “Hospices are a relatively new building type in the United States,” says Ila Burdette,

Perkins+Will’s principal architect in charge of the project. “When we started designing them in 1994, there were relatively few examples to look at. What was most important for our client was to create a building that would not look like a hospital, or a nursing home, or an ICU, but rather a place that would make people comfortable and relaxed in spaces that feel like home.”

As a result, all three of the patient-room pods of the Willson Hospice House are grouped around a shared family living room with space for dining, reading, and conversation. The patient rooms have a warm, residential quality, too. While each is equipped with oxygen, suction, gas, and other necessary medical equipment, these components are built into a millwork panel behind each bed and completely concealed from sight. The panel also extends over the bed to hide overhead exam lighting, which protects the patient from harsh illumination.

Arranged around a central courtyard with tranquility gardens beyond, each pair of patient rooms also shares a porch where family members can enjoy fresh air and views. Double doors in each patient room provide enough room for patient beds to be rolled outside, too. (The beds were specially designed with integrated light fixtures to allow them to be effortlessly disengaged from the wall and moved with ease.)

Interior features and finishes were designed to put both patients and family members at ease. “Since the large windows offer access to views of meadows and woods, we chose to use a variety of woods and other natural, honest materials, along with warm colors like butterscotch and caramel to complement the blues and greens of nature and make folks feel relaxed,” says interior design principal Amy Sickeler. A built-in bed/window seat provides a comfortable place for a family member to spend the night, and the large windows frame the view like a work of art. A chapel, music room, sunroom, playroom for children, and family kitchenette add further warmth and comfort to the facility. According to Patty Woodall, the Willson Hospice House’s executive director, the staff appreciates the beautiful, serene environs as much as the family and patients do. “The work they do is hard, but it’s much easier when the surroundings are beautiful,” she says.

Energy-efficient HVAC and lighting, water conservation features, rapidly renewable materials like bamboo, easy-to-clean antimicrobial linoleum, and durable wool carpet, and recycled materials like asphalt, steel, and concrete aggregate, contributed to earning the facility LEED Silver status. The facility and its grounds also have been designated a certified silver Audubon International Signature Sanctuary—the only healthcare facility to achieve this honor.

Not surprisingly, since it opened last summer, Willson Hospice House has swiftly garnered the affection of the community, which donated more than $7 million during the capital campaign for its construction costs (the hospital paid for the balance). “What I like most is that you have access to the outdoors everywhere,” says Dr. Lane Mathis Price, the facility’s medical director. “Right now the dogwoods are in bloom, the azaleas have buds, and there are walking paths all around. Once folks see the place, they become interested and want to be part of it, too—so in addition to visits by the Audubon Society, the Boy Scouts often do Eagle Scout-based projects here, and civic clubs, church clubs, Rotary clubs, and medical groups have made the facility useful for community activities, too,” she says. “This place is a miracle worker.”


who
Project: Willson Hospice House. Client: Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital. Architect: Perkins+Will; Ila Burdette, Kenneth Moore, Helena O'Connor, Danny Scott, Patrick Carroll, Lance Galvin. Interior designer: Perkins+Will; Amy Sickeler, Inyoung Park. Contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie. Consultants: KLMK Group, LLC (Program Management). Civil engineer: Lanier Engineering. Structural: Uzun & Case Engineers. Mechanical: Cornelius Engineering. Electrical: Spencer Bristol Engineering. Plumbing/Life Safety: Covalent Consulting. Kitchen: Strategic Equipment and Supply Corp. Landscape: Perkins+Will; Leo Alvarez, Alexander Stewart, Matt Malone, Justin Cooper, Valdis Zusmanis. Furniture dealer: The Printshop/MetroservicesOther: LEED Commissioning – Energy Ace. Photographer: Jim Roof Creative Photography, Inc.

what
Wallcoverings: Maharam, MDC Wallcovering. Paint: Benjamin Moore, Sherwin-Williams. Laminate: Formica. Flooring: Plyboo Wood flooring, Forbo Linoleum tile, Expanko Cork tile. Carpet: Bentley Prince Street. Ceiling: Rulon Company. Lighting: Wigmore Lighting Designs, Louis Poulsen, Arturo Alvarez, Hampstead Lighting. Doors: Marshfield DoorSystems, Inc. Glass: Cardinal Glass Industries. Window treatments: Curtain (Architex). Lounge seating: Weatherend. Cafeteria, dining, auditorium seating: Weatherend, National / Kimball Office Group. Other seating: National / Kimball Office Group. Upholstery: Maharam, KnollTextile, Designtex, Momentum, Sunbrella. Conference table: National / Kimball Office Group. Cafeteria, dining, training tables: Weatherend, National / Kimball Office Group. Architectural woodworking: Columbus Cabinet. Signage: Miller EG Design.

where
Location: Albany, GA. Total floor area: Approx. 32,500. No. of floors: 1. Total staff size: 50 home care staff plus 20 inpatient staff during peak shift. Cost/sq. ft.: Approx. $275.
 


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