Using Glass to Promote Patient Comfort- The Firelands Medical Center Project Story
Glass is used in many applications in daily life. It’s best known for its utilization in windows, allowing viewing from the inside out and vice versa. But over the last several years, glass is being placed in many more applications and sharp design firms are seeing the value in using glass in the area of occupant comfort.
Posted by Danik Dancause on 03/20/2017
One such architectural firm has taken this approach even a step further deploying it to improve patient comfort in a medical center setting.
The Poulos + Schmid Design Group recognized by using an etched glass in their design, that they would be able to meet several of their design goals. Their Principal Architect, Greg Schmid explains.
“We wanted a “spa feeling” for the patients’ comfort, especially on the postpartum wing. To offer patients a relaxing environment to promote rest and recovery prior to leaving the hospital.The use of etched glass around the nurse station, nursery viewing windows and the signage at the reception area promoted this spa theme and allows for limited privacy of nursing staff work area from the patients. The etched glass is visually stimulating to patients and staff. This in return creates a nice environment for staff to work in and for the patients; it gets away from the typical “institutional” feeling of the old designs for postpartum and LDR units. The interior designer for this project and all other FRMC projects is Carol Wolfe, she was very instrumental with creating the spa theme and seeing it carried throughout the project with the use of glass and other finish materials that create this spa theme. ”
The etched glass that was manufactured for this project came from Walker Glass as a part of their Walker Textures® brand. As a company Walker has been experiencing the growth of their glass being used in newer applications.
“We’ve seen the advancement of etched glass and the Textures line hit so many different areas. It’s exciting when we see design firms find new areas to use it in and how it truly adds value to the structure and provides extra benefits like the patient comfort ideal at Firelands,” commented Ross Christie, Vice President of Sales at Walker Glass.
Speaking of the growth of etched glass, Schmid can attest that it’s a growing area.
“We are seeing a need for more projects to have etched glass. It offers some privacy and a whole lot of design to a project. I believe it brings a visual interest to an area that use to just be clear glass. We like to use a combination of clear, colored, etched and frosted glass on our projects. It becomes the art work around a space such as a Nurse Station, but still allows you to visually see through the space and not block light.”
Throughout the Firelands Medical Center, glass is truly prominent. It is used as wall partitions, in doors, viewing windows, interior storefronts and more. But when asked what his favorite part of the project was, Schmid pointed to one very special and specific area.
“I really love the viewing windows into the Nursery and the benches for siblings to climb up on to see their new brother or sister. The glass pattern has a wave to it that flows downhill to allow more viewing of the newborns. The openness of the Nurse Station, which utilized etched glass, allows the nurses to see from their workspace directly into the Nursery and to see natural light beyond the Nursery. Natural light makes everyone feel better!”
About Poulos + Schmid Design Group
“Our architectural firm has an impressive list of clients and 80% are repeat clients. The challenge is to balance the projects that have so many design variables such as program requirements, square footage, use groups and time frame. I especially enjoy the challenge of working with each client to develop their program and then design the building to meet their needs. The most rewarding part of my job is to see the client after they have moved into their new space or building. Often times, they didn’t realize some of the things we carefully designed into their project and when they see it for the first time they are so appreciative of our work.
--Greg Schmid, Principal Architect, Poulos + Schmid Design Group
About Walker Glass
Through seven decades, Walker Glass has grown, evolved and constantly adapted to an ever-changing business environment. Walker Glass is the North American market leader in decorative glazing substrates. While many things have changed over the decades, the most important things have remained constant. Adherence to the mission and remaining true to the core values are the trusted foundations of the Walker Glass of yesterday, today and the decades to come.