Best of Year: Health Care
Deborah Wilk -- Interior Design, 12/1/2010 1:09:00 PM
Project: Dubai Mall Medical Centre
Location: United Arab Emirates
Bloomingdale’s and Giorgio Armani aren’t the only major imports at the Burj Khalifa complex, formerly known as the Burj Dubai. In a building adjacent to the world’s tallest tower, the Dubai Mall Medical Centre offers health care based on a Western model. The 60,000-square-foot project borrows such luxury-hospitality elements as marble flooring. Taupe, pearlized cream, white, silver blue, and sea blue emerged as the color palette when senior associate Karen Miller Eskandari pixelated photographs of the region’s landscape. Water, the ultimate desert luxury, became a metaphor in terms of both color and shape. Imagining how rain puddles, Eskandari used free-form carpet insets to anchor separate seating groups in the central waiting area. Semicircular ceiling tracks allow sheers, downlit by LEDs, to be pulled around each group for partial privacy. The sofas and ottomans she chose are round or curved in deference to Arabs’ traditional flowing clothing, prone to snag on sharp corners.
Project: Oasis of Health
Firm: Karim Rashid, Inc.
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Walking around Belgrade, you might pass a dozen Oasis of Health pharmacies. Most are re-creations of antiquated apothecaries, complete with dark paneling. The latest one, however, is the singular vision of Interior Design Hall of Fame member Karim Rashid. Because the 480-square-foot space was previously accessible only through the lobby of this 1950’s building, he had to break through the travertine facade to create a street entrance, then build stairs to bridge the 4½-foot gap between the sidewalk and the floor level inside. Balustrades are the Oasis of Health logo’s kelly green, as is the cash-wrap desk straight ahead. The desk is shaped like a jelly bean and mounted so that the bottom appears to rest lightly on the vine leaves of the logo, printed on ceramic floor tiles. Built-in vitrines display pills and potions. Pulsing across the center of the ceiling, a double helix of LEDs recalls a patient’s healthy heartbeat on an EKG monitor.
Project: Seattle Children's Hospital
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Standout: Extensive glass brings sunlight and views into corridors, waiting areas, and patient-care facilities at this satellite clinic.
Project: Chickasaw Nation Medical Center
Firm: Page Southerland Page
Location: Ada, Oklahoma
Standout: A deep connection to the natural environment comes through in such materials as fieldstone, oxidized copper, and ipe.
Project: San Francisco Patient and Resource Center
Firm: Sand Studios
Location: San Francisco
Standout: At a nonprofit collective in a 1940’s warehouse, medical marijuana meets high style with salvaged-oak counters and a steel rolling ladder to reach upper shelves.