JOURNAL

Technology Brings New Vision to Healthcare Design

By Stephanie Horstman

September marks the grand opening of the new Kaiser Permanente Irwindale Medical Office Building, a 90,000-sf, three-story facility providing outpatient services including ophthalmology, gastroenterology (GI) and podiatry clinic services, as well as an OSHPD-3-licensed ambulatory surgery center and GI procedure center.

The CO Architects design team was asked to reimagine the look of the MOB, as well as the user experience. For example, rather than a traditional waiting room with linear seating arrangements, the “Public Square” lobby provides work and technology connections for visitors, dining spaces, family zones, refuge and privacy alcoves, and a community gathering table for health education and special events. The interior engages the community’s cultural heritage through the use of multiple colors, patterns, and natural materials, and brings a warmth and playfulness to the space.

One of the design tools paramount to the team’s success was Enscape, a 3D rendering software plug-in for Revit that allows photorealistic materials and finishes to be applied to any surface that is modeled, including walls, floors, ceilings and furniture.

Axonometric views are then generated, and a camera allows designers and clients to experience the building through the eyes of a patient, provider or family member, in a manner similar to virtual reality. “Walk throughs” or “fly throughs” quickly navigate through spaces, and clients can give feedback on what they see.

Above: Enscape rendering of the Public Square lobby showing check-in desks and kiosks, the pharmacy and café, waiting spaces, community table, and the monumental stair. Perforated metal acoustic panels were modeled to show the overall diamond pattern as a design element.

Below: The finished lobby space with views of the neighboring quarry and San Gabriel mountain range. Additional finish materials include terrazzo flooring and stair treads, carpet tile area rugs, wood plank walls, and accent-painted walls

Above: Enscape rendering of the Public Square lobby looking toward the main entrance and check-in, with a community table and waiting area in the foreground, and the pharmacy and café to the left.

Below: View of the completed space.

Above: Enscape rendering of the provider enclave housing 26 private offices and open collaboration spaces. Enscape helped the design team visualize the locations and percentages of accent colors and materials, including the Heath tile mural above the break area countertop.

Below: View of the finished offices and collaboration spaces.

Enscape was used throughout the design process of the Kaiser Permanente Irwindale MOB, allowing the design team to visualize spaces more accurately than with traditional perspective renderings, and increasing the client’s confidence and comfort level with the design vision.

Communicating interior architecture is no longer just about floor plans, a few renderings, and a finish board. Today’s sophisticated projects should be an interactive experience early in the design process. Engaging clients in this visual process strengthens the team’s solutions, resulting in greater client satisfaction.

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