Originally published in Interiors & Sources

02/24/2012

And There Was Light

Natural and artificial light plays a key role in the expansion of St. Joseph’s Health Systems’ medical campus in Patterson, N.J., which serves as a new portal to the highest quality of care in a calming and healing environment.

By Robert Nieminen

 
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    Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

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    Designers used color and light to create a soothing atmosphere for children and adults. The custom-designed globe fixture is made up of color cubes that continuously reflect light. Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

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    The use of curves and elliptical forms accentuate movement and provide focal points throughout the 655,000-square-foot facility. Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

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    The client wanted to reflect a warm and clean aesthetic, which was achieved by using wood materials and earth tones in the carpet and upholstery. Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

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    The changing LED wall is synced with lobby music and streams video art. The interactive wall provides a calming distraction for visitors and a fun feature for younger patients. Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

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    Soothing curves guide patients and visitors through the hospital corridor that winds through the elliptical floor plan. Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

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    The layout allows nurses to be closer to patients (nurses are no more than 15 feet away) while keeping patient and staff support spaces separate. Photograph by Chris Cooper View larger

  • /Portals/3/images/magazine/2012/0312/I_0312_Web_PE_StJoes_8.jpg

    A large custom-designed globe fixture in the main lobby is made up of color cubes that continuously reflect natural light. Photograph by Barry Halkin View larger

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    A 30- by 30-foot feature wall made of acrylic boxes is back-lit with LED lights that adds both a sculptural element to the space, while the constantly changing color scheme offers visual interest, particularly during the nighttime hours. Photographs by Francis Cauffman and Eventscape. View larger

SOURCES | CONTACT

 

It is an indisputable fact that humans cannot exist without light. Our survival depends upon the source of light and heat around which our planet revolves. But researchers are quickly discovering that our innate need for light is about more than just warmth—it affects everything from our body’s natural rhythms to the speed of our healing.

For example, a 2006 study by Dr. Anjali Joseph for the Center for Health Design found that higher light levels are linked with better performance of complex visual tasks, and that light requirements increase with age. By controlling the body’s circadian system, light impacts outcomes in healthcare settings by reducing depression among patients, decreasing length of stay in hospitals, improving sleep cycles, lessening agitation among dementia patients, easing pain and improving adjustment to night-shift work among staff.

It’s no wonder then that access to plenty of natural and artificial light played such a critical role in the recent expansion of St. Joseph’s Health System’s (SJHS) medical center in Patterson, N.J. After extensive community research, New York-based firm Francis Cauffman created a master plan for SJHS that reorganized and expanded the entire medical campus to meet the needs of the surrounding population, with a state-of-the-art Critical Care Building (CCB), and a two-story lobby connecting the CCB and the children’s hospital, as its centerpiece.

Francis Cauffman designed the CCB as two intersecting ellipses, an unusual shape for a healthcare facility. The layout allows nurses to be closer to patients (nurses are no more than 15 feet away) but also presents a unique challenge in terms of daylighting.

“I think the biggest challenge was how to bring natural light into the core of the lobby, because the floor plan was more of a linear than a square format,” explains Architectural Designer Kasia N. Zielonka. “Throughout most of the projects—the lobby and the critical care building—the use of natural light coming through the building was the major design key that we worked out, [because] from a patient point of view, a lot of the healing power comes from the natural daylight.”

Floor-to-ceiling glass in every patient room ensures that daylight penetrates deep into the space, to the point that “we noticed there’s so much natural daylight coming in that the staff and patients don’t use as much artificial light as a result,” Zielonka says. Patient-controlled roller shades on the interior and fritted glass glazing on the exterior of the CCB help to reduce heat gain, as well as ensure patient privacy.

Entrance to an outdoor courtyard from the main lobby was also a central factor in the design, according to Jennifer K. Kenson, IIDA, EDAC, associate at Francis Cauffman. “Based on the infill project, we created access to an interior courtyard that wasn’t accessible before. That was another key element we wanted to provide the patient—access to nature without leaving the hospital grounds,” she says.

The core of the project, in many respects, is the main lobby, which became “the new front door of the hospital—the new branding effort that [the client was] going through—and a big transformation in terms of how people view the facility,” says Kenson. Connecting the CCB with the children’s hospital, the lobby doubles as a multipurpose room for community outreach and educational programs.

The focal point of the main lobby is a giant LED-lit wall of white acrylic boxes that changes color and interacts with natural daylight coming from the clerestory windows. The kaleidoscopic wall is synced with music and streams video art, providing a calming distraction for visitors and a fun feature for younger patients.

“The feature wall was one of those elements where the client had asked us to design an architectural component that would provoke movement and light, and some kind of a focal point,” Zielonka explains. “What we came up with was a 30- by 30-foot wall that was more of an architectural piece than an art piece, so we tiled the whole wall in these acrylic boxes. The idea was that they would be reliefed [sic] in different depths, so they would give you the sculptural aspect of movement, and the whole layering of LED lights behind each one of those boxes was to create this pixelated image.”

Kenson adds that because of the unique layout of the floor plan, every patient has a view to the color-changing light, which cycles throughout the day. Complementing the LED feature wall is a large, custom-designed globe fixture made up of color cubes that continuously reflect light. Both the globe and feature wall play off the natural light flooding the space, with the globe reflecting most of the light during the day and the LEDs acting as a backdrop to the lobby. As nighttime approaches, however, the interplay of light is reversed—the LED feature wall takes center stage as its colors constantly change to help create a soothing atmosphere, while the globe becomes a more subtle design element.

The main lobby sets the standard for the rest of the hospital and acts as a “portal” to its services, which includes a 729-bed tertiary medical center and a 120-bed full service children’s hospital. The resulting facility shines brightly as a beacon of light to the Patterson community, as well as to the growing segment of the population in need of better and more accessible health services.

 

SOURCES:
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acoustic wall panels
Novawall Systems | 1
(800) 695-6682


carpet
Shaw | 2
(877) 502-7429


ceilings (custom radius metal panel system)
Armstrong Ceilings | 3
(877) ARMSTRONG

ceramic floor tile
Marca Corona | 4
(+39) 0536-867200


feature walls
Eventscape
(001) 416-231-8855


fiberglass wall panels (curved, custom)
Formglas
(416) 635-8030

furniture
Arcadia
(800) 585-5957

KI
(800) 424-2432

Spec
(888) 761-7732 


resilient tile flooring
Toli
(800) 446-5476

wall panels
Decoustics
(800) 387-3809


wood-look flooring
Parterre
(888) 338-1029


worksurfaces
DuPont Corian
(800) 426-7426

CONTACT:
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client
St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center
703 Main St.
Patterson, NJ 07503
www.sjhmc.org

project team
Francis Cauffman
33 East 33rd St.
Suite 1201
New York, NY 10016
(646) 315-7000
www.franciscauffman.com

 

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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