Creative Endeavors,  Featured

Healthful interiors

The International Interior Design Association’s eighth annual IIDA Healthcare Design Awards continue to honor and celebrate the originality and excellence of current designs shaping interior healthcare spaces around the world. 

Beside those based in the southern and eastern United States, this year’s winning firms and projects—announced in late September—also bring the Great Lakes region into the spotlight. 

“With this annual competition, we witness the latest innovation and transformation within the healthcare design world,” said Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the IIDA, in a press release. 

“This year, the winning projects focused on both function and overall end user well-being, offering elegant, creative solutions to various healthcare needs,” Durst added. 

Based in Edmonton, Canada, Stantec’s Toronto office and Chicago office on Michigan Avenue both created winning projects for the pediatric healthcare sector. Almost Home Kids, or AHK, a new-build project completed in partnership with the OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, awarded the firm top honors in the Hospitals – Pediatric category; while the SickKids Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers, or WAV, PlayPark in Toronto, garnered it awards in both the Hospitals – Pediatric and Transformation and Innovation categories. 

Almost Home Kids helps children with complex medical conditions transition safely from the hospital to their home, and it also provides a supportive environment for families to learn about their child’s care. Evoking an amenity-rich residence, the approximately 22,000-square-foot house ensures a residential feel through scale and massing, as well as finishes and overall access to nature. 

Stantec’s renovation of the SickKids Foundation’s WAV PlayPark—a free childcare service—resulted in an open, bright, and uplifting indoor “park” that supports creativity and discovery by providing spaces which promote relaxation, creativity, and exploration. Overall, the design seeks to maximize openness, interconnectivity, and safety; and the space is subdivided into landscape features including a lake, hill, cave, meadow, forest, and canyon, with a central desk overlooks all the spaces.

In the Hospitals – Community category, the Minneapolis-based design firm of HGA received an award for its creation of the CentraCare Health Facility in Long Prairie, Minnesota. The 65,000-square-foot critical access hospital sought to reshape healthcare for the surrounding rural community, and its resulting redesign was inspired by a strong farming heritage, which is seen in materials like iron-spot brick and walnut wood, and details like local imagery and patterns inspired by the fields dotting the landscape. 

From the north, BSA LifeStructures, an architecture firm in Indianapolis, created the UCHealth Greeley hospital in Greely, Colorado, which also received an award in the Hospitals – Community category. In addition, the Chicago-based architecture firm CannonDesign created the Skolnick Surgical Tower and Hildebrandt Emergency Center in Miami Beach, Florida, an expansion of the Mount Sinai Medical Center, which received awards in the Hospitals – Academic and Teaching Hospitals categories.

Each entry was judged by a jury of design professionals, including Alexandra Bonner, IIDA, project interior designer, FCA; Eric Koffler, IIDA, AIA, senior associate, NBBJ; and Tiana Lemons, IIDA, senior associate, healthcare studio leader, Orcutt | Winslow. Overall, each was applauded for intuitive and unique offerings in design that support the continuing and changing needs of modern healthcare users.

“This year’s winners demonstrated unique approaches to healthcare design and an understanding of how spaces affect the healing and wellness of patients, staff, and visitors,” said Bonner in a press release. “We are pleased to be presenting them with this honor as they offer insight into the future of healthcare spaces.”

As an advocate for advancement in education, design excellence, legislation, leadership, accreditation, and community outreach, the IIDA seeks to increase the value and understanding of interior design as a profession that can positively impact the health and well-being of people’s lives every day. Also an internationally-recognized commercial interior design association, the IIDA has been a leader in defining and supporting the interior design profession on a global scale for 25 years. The organization supports design professionals, industry affiliates, educators, students, firms, and their clients through a network of more than 15,000 members across 58 countries. 

Text: R. Collins | GLBD senior staff writer

Featured image: Mount Sinai, courtesy Christopher Barrett Photography