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Balancing modern design with community acceptance

Insight Article

Facilities

Architectural firms designing community-based healthcare facilities often must balance incorporating state-of-the-art updates and achieving a look that dovetails with the neighborhood.

The recently opened Beth Israel Deaconess-Needham Outpatient Clinical Center in Needham, Mass., is a new 37,000-square-foot, four-floor facility designed to accommodate the sizable number of patients who visit the hospital for treatments/procedures but do not stay overnight. The new center is located on the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham main campus, adjacent to the hospital.

The mission, from an architectural standpoint, was to create a facility that would allow clinical practices previously located offsite to be part of the main campus while also providing new space for growing practices in the main hospital, many of which shared space with other clinics or practiced in outdated spaces. The challenge was to design a contemporary facility that would deliver continuous high-quality care for the community and be accepted by nearby neighbors, many of whom were concerned about the building’s appearance. The answer was a residential-style fa├žade on one side of the building, contrasted by a modern, sleek appearance on the other side.

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