Originally published in Interiors & Sources

03/01/2008

Not to Intimidate

From the Editor

 

Maureen Patterson

Designers were working on a new Department of Transportation headquarters building in Washington, D.C., when 9/11 hit. The resulting need for heightened security could have driven the team to turn their neighborhood-friendly facility into a fortress. They didn't.

Designers at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA, were working on a new $130 million Patient Care Center and had to pack in a complex array of technology. They could have showcased gadgets at every turn. They didn't.

In fact, both groups chose to strategically hide technology. At the DOT (see "Securing Comfort"), hedges grow around bollards and cameras sit inside an overhanging cornice. At St. Joseph (see "Health Tech"), communications, backup systems, and power and fresh-air supplies are positioned behind walls.

Each facility serves its users well. DOT employees, visitors, and passers-by are protected in a way that comforts, not confronts. St. Joseph patients and guests feel the healing power of a facility that is more hospitality than institution.

Both facilities serve their function well with high-tech sophistication in smart spaces that work for those who work in them.

Sometimes the road not traveled makes the biggest difference. It's the subtle touch, the unpronounced visual, the invisibly fulfilled need. A secure facility does not need the proverbial Beware of Dog sign everywhere, and a sterile facility does not need white walls and hard surfaces only.

What they didn't do here speaks as loudly as what they did do.

Sometimes the choices are not as clear. Our cover shot speaks of what designers could do. Maybe. Architect David Fisher has designed a building that he says will generate more power than it uses, rotate on every floor, and increase construction efficiencies with a prefabricated, modular approach (see "Newsworthy: The Ultimate View"). If such a concept comes to fruition, the possibilities of what buildings could do aesthetically and functionally would multiply.

What would a skyline look and feel like with dozens of swirling architectural masses? Should technology be hidden or flaunted? The question is not only what technology could do but what it should do.

 

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Connectrac wireways offer discrete power and technology connectivity in open interior spaces of all kinds; affordably, quickly and with long-term flexibility.



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.

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.

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.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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