I would offer two projects that are the significant. Let me first say, in addition to planning and design expertise the vision and engagement of the Client is a critical success factor in creating successful, innovative and, in your words, “notable projects”.
Okay. The first one to bring up is the most recent major addition to the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, designed when I was with Perkins and Will. While I did not do the master planning there, I was responsible for developing the logistics planning (supply chain, food service, central sterile, etc.). I was working with a team of about 18 different department representatives and one of our success measures was the flow of products through the facility; how are these products received, distributed to point of use, waste products collected, returned to the dock and exit the building. The goal is to accomplish this flow without any disruption to clinical procedures (essentially without anyone noticing). For the most part, the logistics functions are not considered very exciting. However, the Rush project was progressive in many ways and once it became known there were robots delivering products throughout the new building, there was quite a bit more interest in “what was going on in the lower level”. The reason that’s an important project is not because of the robots, but it’s because of the Leadership vision and methodology for the project decision-making structure was organized. The design and construction teams were provided one floor of an existing medical office building on campus with the Office of Transformation: a small team of clinicians, administrators, and support staff with a single goal: deliver the new building and transform both the campus and the organizational culture to deliver the most progressive care in the nation. There are several innovative and visionary features of the project. However, in my opinion, the fundamental reason for the project success is that the entire project team internalized the project Guiding Principles. Every one of those departmental representatives I mentioned, discussed the pros and cons of the various issues and often state one of the guiding principles for why on option was better than the others. Senior Rush Leadership empowered the Office of Transformation and through disciplined principle-guided decision-making, the campus culture evolved and the physical environment reflected the pride of innovation within. Hands down; it is a great project.
One of the issues in strategic planning is maintaining client confidentiality. The other significant project I want to mention is a replacement hospital for a confidential client located in the Midwest. I directed the planning aspects of the project team, leading process improvement, master planning and architectural programming from project inception through delivery of the design development phase. The project incorporates several visionary operational concepts. I can’t share much about the details because it’s still under construction, but the design leveraged some great insights about how the organization will engage patients before they even get to the site and then once on site, how they will manage them, move them to their destination, deliver care and help them leave with a sense of wholeness and inspiration using a combination of human interaction and technology. It is very inspiring to work with a client team with a baseline of “what’s been done before” and seeking opportunities for where they want to push the ideas forward.
Preliminary planning concept for a hybrid operating room
Those two projects were very satisfying, because the clients were very engaged and worked hand in hand with the planning and design team to articulate the vision. They were very inspirational.