Originally published in Interiors & Sources

01/01/2005

A Comforting Treatment

Robert Nieminen

The design of the Tower Hematology Oncology Group at Cedars Sinai Medical Towers in Beverly Hills called for a plan that put patient care and comfort first. The Neiman Group delivered—beautifully.

By Eric Woodroof, Ph.D., CEM, CRM

 
A Comforting Treatment
The design of the Tower Hematology Oncology office required a patient-centered approach. The Neiman Group delivered--beautifully.

By Robert Nieminen

There are probably few things in life that induce more stress and apprehension than undergoing cancer diagnosis and treatment. To say that the experience is less than pleasant for patients is a major understatement. That's why patient care and comfort were given the foremost consideration in the design of the Tower Hematology Oncology office in Beverly Hills, CA.

In step with their reputation for being responsive to clients and considerate of the end users of the facilities they design, The Neiman Group project team ensured that design and programming issues centered around patient and staff needs, making the space easy to navigate and as stress-free as possible. As you enter the full-floor office, the reception area feels more like a hotel than a medical office, according to principal architect Cliff Neiman. "The entry is more like a concierge desk than a traditional check-in," he says.

Clean, organic lines, earth tones and a freestanding water fountain in the main lobby invite patients to relax and calm their nerves before being called in for treatment. The reception desk is adorned with solid green slabs of granite, which gives a soft, clean edge to the 100 percent-maple desk arrangement. Frosted glass artwork divides the reception and lobby areas, further contributing to a sense of tranquility for patients in the waiting area. Scaled-down lighting, textured walls and spiral patterns in the Berber carpet add more soothing finishes to the design.

In addition to patient comfort, Neiman says that patient flow was also extremely important to the client, given that there are a number of separate entities involved with chemo treatment, such as examination, infusion, imaging and lab functions.

"Patients know the process and where they're supposed to go when they come in," Neiman explains. "One of the goals of this project was to create a unified experience that required each unit to be clear, pleasant and direct, mitigating any kind of apprehension." One solution to this challenge was using tile and a hard surface "spine" to connect all the various units within the space, allowing for easy way finding. Choice of flooring also played a key role in the imaging area, where incorporating specialized medical equipment can often present an obstacle to design. The project team chose rich maple flooring to create consistency with the cabinetry and to set the imaging equipment apart from the rest of the room.

The 28-chair infusion center, where patients might spend up to six hours attached to an IV, also keeps comfort in mind. Plush furniture and personal entertainment in each individual infusion station help ease patients during treatment. Cantilevered ceiling elements were applied from waiting areas to carry over design elements throughout the space. Direct and indirect lighting sources were used strategically in the examination area where physicians need direct light for care, but are not uncomfortable for the patient on the exam table looking up, Neiman says.

Staff needs were also given careful consideration in the design of the 17,000-square-foot office, which was converted from a conventional office space. Simple lines of the nurses' desk station give the nursing staff exceptional visibility and central accessibility to patients. Although space was limited by structural constraints in the doctors' conference room, the project team was able to customize a 12-person seating arrangement and table that maximized the use of the free space in the room. Two six-foot chandeliers encased in halogen bulbs provide direct light, while warm, ambient light emanates from a domed recess in the ceiling. Mechanically drawn shades and a light board add functionality to the space.

In the end, The Neiman Group was able to balance the needs of all stakeholders in the project, while successfully making the patient experience as pleasurable as possible.

"We feel design projects are a team effort, especially in the medical field where you have a multitude of requirements to consider" Neiman says. "We're equally left- and right-brained, which is great for medical projects like this one."

  • Sources

    MILLWORK
    ATA Custom Cabinet/ Sal Yehuda

    FURNITURE CONSULTANT
    YOCUM Business Furnishings/
    Jeff Gendelman

    INTERIOR CONSTRUCTION METAL AND FURNISHINGS

    ACOUSTICAL CEILING PANELS
    Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
    USG Interiors

    LIGHTING
    Louis Poulsen
    Prima Lighting
    Lithonlier
    Portfolio

    WALLCOVERING
    Wolf Gordon Inc.

    CARPET
    Atlas Carpet Mills, Inc
    Mannington Commercial

    SHEET VINYL
    Armstrong World Industries, Inc.
    Toli International

    TILE
    Lobby: Iris Ceramica S.P.C.

    OTHERS
    Daltile

    VINYL COMPOSTION
    TILE

    Armstrong World Industries, Inc.

    PAINT

    LOBBY
    Meoded Paints and Decoration

    OTHERS
    ICI Dulux

    GRANITE COUNTER TOP
    Southland Stone USA

    SOLID SURFACING MATERIAL
    Samsung-Staron

    LAMINATE
    Nevamar Armored Protection
    Wilsonart International

    ART GLASS
    The Rudy Art Glass Studio

    CUBICLE CURTAINS
    Maharam

    UPHOLSTERY FABRICS
    Momentum Group

    FURNITURE MANUFACTURE

    Aracdia
    Sit on it Office seating
    Peter Pepper
    Products, Inc.

    Project Team

    CLIENT
    Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group
    Cedars Sinai Medical Towers
    9090 Wilshire Boulevard, 2nd Floor
    Beverly Hills, CA 90211
    (310) 888-8680

    ARCHITECTURE/INTERIOR DESIGN
    The Neiman Group
    12111 Ohio Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90025
    (310) 207-8224

    OWNER, MANAGING PRINCIPAL
    Pamela B. Neiman

    OWNER, REPRESENTATIVE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Steven Elconin

    PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT
    Clifford J. Neiman

    PROJECT MANAGER
    Meng-Hao Ho

    PROJECT DESIGNER
    Jessica Liu

    ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS

    MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEER
    Guthrie Ishii

    ENGINEERING
    Clifford Ishii

    STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
    Myers Houghton
    and Associates,
    Rick Beall

    IMAGINING CONSULTANT
    AGI Healthcare Group, Ross Laney

  •  


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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.
    CLICK HERE to find out how.

    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

     
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