Architects Make a Trip to the Doctor Less Painful

The new Group Health Bellevue Medical Center, opening July first, is a testament to how architects improve the quality of our lives with their work. The Seattle Times had this to say:

“Some buildings in Bellevue are taller …but few are more prominent. The building will be seen by thousands of people daily passing on the freeway; but what they won't see is how the structure functions inside. ‘It's like a symphony, where the doctors are, where the patients are,’ said Dr. Robert Sandblom, the new center's medical director.

Designers of the new building focused heavily on giving patients a positive experience. The first space patients will encounter, a vast lobby, has both a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling south-facing windows. Architects planned the south facing orientation because the natural light from the windows and the welcoming ambience of the hearth are soothing.

Architects of the new medical center stayed away from elements that could cause a patient stress and designed a building to take patients minds off their pain. There are no arrows on the floors, no color-coded pathways, no bewildering floor plans. Building surfaces are based on natural Northwest materials; destinations are planned to be instinctively accessible. Waiting areas are intentionally small, with the idea that there won't be much waiting.

Further concern for patients shows up in several places like:
  • A third-floor south-facing physical-therapy room which has the best views of Mount Rainier — for patients, not for staff members.
  • A precisely oriented computer workstation in each of the 136 patient-care rooms, fitted so the screen can be viewed by both doctor and patient.
  • The seven operating rooms with no wires underfoot; booms suspended from the ceiling hold an array of materials — lights, computer monitors, equipment trays — all instantly reachable.

To read the full article about the new medical center click here:

Group Health to open state-of-the-art facility in Bellevue.

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