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NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center Leverages Tools of Hospitality Design

NewYork-Presbyterian David Koch Center

Designed through a collaboration of HOK, Ballinger and Pei Cobb Freed, the NewYork-Presbyterian David H. Koch Center is a new ambulatory care center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Excerpted from Metropolis:

With its dark-gray granite floors, beechwood ceilings, and recessed lighting—not to mention its sociable staff and atmosphere—the Koch Center’s entrance feels more hotel than health care. This hospitality quality, increasingly common in health-care spaces, is by design, explains Christine Vandover, a senior interior design principal at HOK.

The Koch Center’s opening comes as the health-care industry is awakening to the power of thoughtful design, with studies showing that design decisions—both good ones, like an abundance of natural light, and bad ones, like unclear wayfinding—can affect patient recovery times and staff efficiency. And what patients have come to expect from their health- care experiences has also changed.

“Individuals are taking control of their health care and actually choosing where they go,” says Amy Beckman, a principal at HOK who led the Koch Center project. “Design is playing a bigger role in that.”

“We’ve worked really hard to create an environment where you’re less frightened and anxious and feel safe when you walk in the building,” says Joe Ienuso, NewYork-Presbyterian’s group senior vice president of facilities and real estate.

Ultimately, the designers say, the objective in hospital design is to create humane spaces and moments that empower patients, maintain their dignity and agency, and are just a little more calming and comfortable.

“Design is really about improving the human experience,” Beckman says. And at the Koch Center, that axiom seems to have been taken seriously.

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