Designing for Patients, Caregivers, and Recruitment

Welcome to our annual issue focused on healthcare design, published in November just in time for the Healthcare Design Expo + Conference in Orlando. In this issue, we showcase the winners of the Healthcare Environment Awards, presented by Contract in collaboration with The Center for Healthcare Design.

Among the winners, we feature the remarkable Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, designed by HDR | Gensler in association with Clive Wilkinson Architects. This is the Healthcare Environment Award winner in the Acute Care category. Here, the very concept of a comprehensive rehabilitation center is redefined. The architects and designers carefully considered all rehabilitation needs for arms and hands, legs and walking, strength and endurance, thinking and speaking, and pediatric care—programmatically planned within the building by area of focus. And this is one of the first buildings to incorporate the translational model—putting rehabilitation researchers and practitioners together to learn from the patient care experience.

Healthcare encompasses wellness and fitness as well. With that in mind, an entirely different design solution was developed by SRG Partnership, in conjunction with Nike, for the Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center at the University of Oregon. This is the Healthcare Environment Award winner in the Health and Wellness Fitness category. Here, the Oregon Ducks football team enjoys a state-of-the-art facility in which athletes can exercise, be analyzed for their health and fitness, receive rehabilitation treatment, or even take a nap to rejuvenate. The worlds of fitness, fashion, and team pride coincide here, as well, with row upon row of football uniform options to entice recruits to play for the Ducks.

We are also pleased to feature projects that are exemplars of traditional healthcare delivery. Mehrdad Yazdani and his team at Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign were able to weave architectural excellence with beautiful healthcare interiors at Jacobs Medical Center in La Jolla, California. Here, the beauty is inside and out, from the architecture and building envelope to the interior spaces crafted for caregiver needs and patient comfort. And lessons from hospitality design are clearly apparent. A labor and delivery room, for example, looks much more like a hotel suite than a hospital room. Great care was placed in the selection of finishes and furnishings here, offering lessons for designers of all project types.

In the design of the Miami Cancer Institute, ZGF Architects in association with MGE Architects, considered the local parklike context of Baptist Health’s Miami campus as well as the personal needs of patients who are coming for an unpleasant and otherwise stress-inducing life moment. The complex includes an outpatient care and advanced imaging facility as well as a laboratory building flexibly designed for expansion and adaptability over time for the evolution of cancer care and research.

In the more urban context of Stamford, Connecticut, EYP Health designed the replacement Stamford Hospital with the Planetree model of patient-centric care in mind. Balancing high tech and high touch in healthcare interiors, EYP partnered with clinicians and administrators to plan for a hospital that keeps the patient at the forefront. At the same time, EYP designed the hospital with numerous design details to enhance the work life of caregivers. In a first-person essay, Tushar Gupta, a principal at EYP Health, describes how his team was able to design multiple elements specifically for the caregiver needs.

Healthcare Design Expo
I look forward to seeing Contract readers at the Healthcare Design Expo + Conference in Orlando, November 11-14. I will be presenting the winners of the Healthcare Environment Awards and the Nightingale Awards for the best products at the expo on the morning of November 13 during The Center for Healthcare Design’s awards presentation. Visit to learn more. Also, know that tickets and tables are available now for the Interiors Awards Breakfast, presented by Contract on Friday, January 26, 2018, in New York. Visit to purchase tickets, and I will see you there!

John Czarnecki, Assoc. AIA, Hon. IIDA
Editor in Chief