Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The Cleveland Clinic Brunswick Family Health Center Emergency Department is a two-story addition to the existing Brunswick Family Health Center and includes associated site improvements. While the existing Family Health Center continues to house a radiographic room, ultrasound rooms and MRI room, the first story of the addition, which is approximately 22,500 GSF, consists of an Emergency Department, Processing Lab and Imaging Center. The second story of the addition is approximately 17,000 GSF of shell space for a future fit-out. General planning considerations for the future second floor build-out will likely include examination rooms and offices. The roof of the addition includes a helistop with elevator access from the roof to the first floor. The project, which targets LEED for HC Silver certification, pairs environmentally sensitive, sustainable development with the needs of a world-class medical institution.
In plan, the addition connects with the existing construction at their corners. This arrangement creates a continuity of the internal circulation present in the original facility, preserves the windows of the existing family health center, and minimized disruption of operations in the occupied building during construction. The resultant space created by the arrangement perfectly accommodates the public drop off and parking for the new emergency department.
The new facility echoes the palette and materials of the existing health center but creates a subtle point of departure in the modularity of both the opaque and transparent portions of the enclosure screen. This soft differentiation ensures a compatibility and homogenous expression between existing and new construction, but provides a readable distinction, announcing to visitors that they are functionally different structures. The ample, north east facing, floor-to-floor glazing on the primary street façade allows visibility to visitors of the waiting areas within; this is intended to promote ease of wayfinding and also to alleviate anxiety in visitors by means of exposure to light and activity within the building envelope.
The aesthetic approach is a departure from current trends of design in the creation of a healing environment. Rather than depend on decorative motifs, the chromatically and texturally Spartan expression is intended to act as a canvas and frame for the natural environment. Views to a tranquil and seasonally changing landscape are leveraged in lieu of applied decorative elements. The exterior adsorbs and plays back the daily and seasonally changing qualities of light so common to northeast Ohio, both in terms of shadow and color temperature. The chameleon-like attributes result in a facility that is always in a state of dynamic transformation in an effort to avoid the static and repetitive experience that can be associated with institutionalism. Within the facility, a disciplined approach has been taken to account for and accommodate all of the fixtures and equipment that are inherent in a medical facility to create an environment of visual and sonic tranquility. All of these considerations, combined with carefully chosen and placed art, are engineered to create an experience that is serene and well mannered, a contemplative environment promoting healing and well being for staff and visitors alike.