By Sona Aroush
The new CO-designed Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center addresses patient and personnel well-being by incorporating the natural environment into the healthcare environment; the landscape design of native trees, plants, and hardscape is infused into the architecture and interior design. Interior spaces are designed to reduce stress and enhance the patient and staff experience through finish selections influenced by coastal breezes, ocean waves, and nature. The use of a natural palette with vibrant accent colors relates to San Diego’s coastal climate and environment.
The hospital is designed with San Diego and its community in mind; the the design reintroduces native landscape and open space to a former industrial site, and integrates the natural environment into the fabric of the healthcare environment. The use of color and natural light in the interiors enhances the connection between the outdoors to create a lively healing environment. The orientation of the hospital towers reflect the core branding themes: the east wing faces the desert, the south wing faces the city, and the west wing faces the ocean. These natural themes are reflected in the graphics and patterns used throughout each wing, capturing familiar landmarks and the local landscape of San Diego to create a physical and emotional balance for healing.
The entry captures a daylit and transparent circular rotunda that visually brings the exterior landscape indoors. The coastline of San Diego is cast into the terrazzo in the main entry rotunda, which continues into the main corridor. There is a clear presence of reception and wayfinding to lead the visitor forward to the next destination of the public elevator lobby, HSB, member services, gift shop, and/or the cafe.
The café is voluminous and transparent to the outdoors. The volume of the space creates expansive views and allows daylight to enter the interior, creating a peaceful experience for the user. The custom glass mosaic backdrop above the banquette seating adds a lively reflection on the exterior glass.
The elevator lobbies reconnect guests to the exterior entry courtyard, as a way to return to the natural environment by bringing the exterior landscape indoors.
The typical patient room provides optimal views and daylight, and maintains privacy for the patient while being in direct contact with the adjacent nurse work areas. Patients are in control of lighting, temperature, and information access through a handheld device and footwall interactive display (DIRTT).
Level 3 of the medical center focuses on LDRP, NICU, and Postpartum. The reception and waiting area of the wing is designed to be calming and welcoming. The entry and waiting areas are infused with daylight. A graphic, luminous textile panel behind reception is a key feature of the space and fills it with interactive light waves and color.
The graphics of ocean waves and use of glass mosaics throughout the wing create a calming and soothing environment while connecting with the ocean and beach terrain of San Diego.
The pediatrics wing promotes healing, comfort, and family centered care for the users. The wing is split into the four seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each season is filled with colors, graphics, and texture to create a fun and welcoming environment for patients and families. The use of an interactive LED panel outside of each PEDS patient room creates a stimulating experience for the user. Filled with ultra-bright LEDs, the LED module responds in complex and calm ways to stimulus provided by human interaction.