As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.
Tara McGrath, Senior Interior Designer, spoke with us about establishing positive distractions, modern facilities and personal connections.
What about this project represents why you choose to be a designer?
Designing for healthcare is about creating a patient centered space of beautiful architecture to establish positive distractions. To me, cancer treatment is the most challenging aspect of healthcare design because of the amount of time a patient spends in one space. One of the reasons many reasons designers work in healthcare is to help people and I am not an exception.
What was the happiest moment of the project?
The opening celebration was the happiest moment for me during the entire process. I arrived early to walk the building with the president of Pocono Medical Center. It was the first time I was able to see the completed project. After 3 years of working on the project I was thrilled about how it all came together.
Is there anything about this project that touched you personally?
Designing cancer centers & treatment spaces are very important to me. My grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer many years ago but it was too far along for cancer treatment. She passed away only a few short weeks later. I have had the privilege to work on 4 cancer focused projects here at EwingCole since then. With every cancer treatment project, I think of my grandmother and hope that the spaces we design help bring some encouragement to patients and their families.
Tell me about your client.
Working with the Pocono team was amazing. They were very open to new design ideas and finishes that were not part of their “standards”. They trusted the EwingCole team to make decisions and supported the design concept throughout the entire process.
Tell me about the selection process for this project. What do you think made them select you for this work?
EwingCole has a lot of experience with cancer treatment design. Our team brings a vast amount of knowledge on everything from the equipment planning to the durability of finishes required for a high traffic healthcare facility. We have the experience to create spaces that meet the technical healthcare requirements and still be able to design a positive patient experience. I believe that Pocono understood EwingCole’s goal for cancer treatment from the very first meeting with our Healthcare Principal, Andy Jarvis, and continued to trust us throughout the entire design process.
Many hospitals use soothing and natural colors, but your design features pops of red. Tell me more about the decision behind that.
This project’s design concept does stray from the standard soothing colors for healthcare. It focuses on the positive distraction. Working with Pocono we developed the concept of bringing the regional nature into the building and accenting the “nature” with clean modern architecture and colors. We wanted to highlight the nature but still create a modern space to demonstrate the facilities cutting edge technology in cancer treatment: “The machine in the woodland and the woodland within the machine” design concept.