Architecture In The Medical Market: Assumptions And Truths
All sorts of assumptions are made when we think of medical architecture; hospitals, urgent care units and medical office buildings. A natural assumption is that these buildings will be boring, clean and sterile. Historically these buildings are made of traditional materials, like brick, but over the years, there has been a movement towards metal accents and in some cases metal envelopment.
St Joseph Mercy Oakland SJMO Pedestrian Bridge, Michigan, HKS Architects, Madison Heights Glass Company, CEI Materials R4000
For the St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) Pedestrian Bridge in Pontiac, MI, the architects at HKS opted for a contemporary approach. The 300-foot bridge is enveloped in a silver-finish metal composite material and was part of a “regeneration” plan initiated in 2006. Since then, the building has undergone a series of redevelops to create a more contemporary design, in such, the building now features metal as a primary source material with the traditional stucco or brick portions now as accents.
Sturdy Memorial Medical Office Plainville, Maugel Architects, Dellbrook JKS, Building Envelope Systems, CEI Materials, Photography Maugel Architects
Medical office designs, unlike hospitals, are often privately funded and can take more risks in terms of design in order to attract potential patients. This was true for the design of the Sturdy Memorial Associates at Plainville by Maugel Architects. The medical facility is clad in nearly 14,000 square-feet of the metal composite panels in an English Cherry wood grain finish. Although this particular design, or use of building materials, is quite contemporary, some medical office facades utilize metal components as accents.
Borgess Health Park, Battle Creek, Michigan, NBBJ, AVB Construction, TowerPinkster, Reliable Glass Installers, CEI Materials R4000
For the Borgess Health Park in Battlecreek, MI by NBBJ metal, both corrugated and composite, were used as a complementary material to the project’s brick masonry. The outpatient care facility utilizes metal composite on the building’s canopies and overhangs, in a muted bronzed finish that offers a clean but modern aesthetic.
Ascension Group Architects, First Choice ER, Houston, Texas, CEI Materials R4000
CEI Materials assisted Ascension Group Architects in various First Choice ER facilities across Colorado, Arizona and Texas. First Choice Emergency Room facilities are considered corporate identity as the company has a regional program where it is required for each facility to have similar branding. The brand’s identity is showcased in the building’s exterior design, for this program, the architects utilized metal canopies, column covers, accents and towers.
The use of multiple building materials allows for a façade, specifically one utilizing a silver metal composite, to not appear too futuristic or modern. Along with another material, metal composite serves as a contemporary feature to a building’s façade.
Medical buildings are heavy-use facilities with a high number of occupants requiring the use of durable building materials. The use of metal continues to gain momentum in the medical market, whether used as an accent material or to envelope a façade, metal offers a resilient solution for the building’s contemporary exterior design.