AIA 3rd Annual Health + Wellness Showcase

By David Watts, AIA, Principal

As Baltimore Chapter co-chair of the AIA’s Health and Wellness Committee, David Watts helped organize the third annual showcase. The event allows architects, contractors, students, and designers to present ideas that promote health and wellness in the community. The focus is to convey strategies and challenges unique to designing healthy spaces. This year featured a wide array of projects from local bike shops that encourage healthy commuting to city parks with outdoor concerts. This well-attended event provides an opportunity for industry leaders to advance the dialogue about community wellness.

Gareth Morgan presented the design approach for Hanover Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center. MCA used evidence-based design principles to create an emotional experience through biophilic design. The interior concepts were based on a philosophy about creating places of healing rather than a generic theme. Natural materials and palettes were selected to evoke a connection to the environment. This connection was further emphasized through the use of daylight and views to the exterior. Our designers carefully considered the acoustical properties of materials to reduce noise and increase comfort. All of these design elements coalesced to produce a sense of refuge, security, and protection for occupants – qualities which are vital to the healing process.

Project Highlights

  • Warm wood tone with accents of cooler hues are carried throughout creating a sense of balance and continuity
  • Lighting spectrum: transitions from longer wavelength (warm red) to shorter wavelength (cool blue) in synchronization from day to night
  • Patterning includes contrasting colors and an element of “sparkle” or light
  • Stacked stone at entry with the logo identifying “front door” of unit symbolizes strength, stability, and ordered complexity
  • Rectangular overlapping forms create “protective” canopies.