The Washington Post’s Phillip Kennicott says that architecture firm Perkins+Will’s $1.1 billion addition to Johns Hopkins Hospital is on par with the firm’s other large-scale projects. In his review of what he calls the hospital’s new “front door,” Kennicott compliments the firm’s efforts to bring cheer to the dismal facility by adding a colorful outer façade and large gardens in the entryway. But lively hues and plants aren’t enough to mask the morbid fact that some of those who enter the building may never leave, he says. “One senses the same architectural dilemma that would confront a designer trying to create an upscale auto service center: No matter how you gussy up the waiting room and offices, ultimately the space must be congenial for fixing cars, which is a messy business,” Kennicott writes. But overall it’s “reluctant admiration” he feels for the Perkins+Will design. Like everything in healthcare, he says, a little compromise is necessary.

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