Peace in Dignity
Successful projects are a result of a good, thoughtful, planning process. In this case, the process of getting a certificate of need from the state allowed us to learn from the testimonies of families and staff about the emotional challenges involved in hospice care. During early design the CEO of Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital came to our office with a stack of books illustrating the work of Greene and Greene Architects. The marks on the pages indicated that he had been thumbing through the book and had given a lot of time and thought into what he would like to see in the character of the new facility. The design ideas that he had marked supported the project goals and addressed the challenges learned from the hearings. During our discussion there were several ideas that stood out such as creating a comfortable space for the patients and families, designing areas that were peaceful, and magnifying the potential of nobility in a challenging time. Inspired by the designs of Greene and Greene, the low horizontal design forms seen in the space were used to generate a comforting space for the patient. The Gestalt philosophy, often seen as the “Law of Simplicity” was carried throughout the facility to help bring peace and serenity. Another Greene and Greene element that served as inspiration for the project were the emphasis on natural light and sunlight. There was careful consideration on the location of the windows, doors, skylights, and the use of abstracted stained-glass windows to highlight the pleasure that sunlight creates.