"Whatever it is, it should't look like a hospital space." Our patients aren't shy about offering earnest feedback when our design team approaches them. In March, Sibley's Hub took on creating a vision for a new space in the main lobby of the new hospital. You might have heard Hubsters call it a Welcome Center, but that's a bit of a misnomer. What we learned, through over 50 patient and staff interviews, and 75 visioning exercises, is the space should be more like an Apple Genius Bar combined with a high-end hotel's concierge services.
At the end of March, our team turned over a set of design principals to Sibley's interior designers. Those principals are meant to serve as a guiding light - things which are critical to the space. We're leaving the actual implementation -colors, fabrics, arrangement -up the the interior design experts. The Hub team, through our interviews and research, identified a list of 8 principals which felt important to our community. We then set up a model of the space, including a 3D rendering and some photo examples, of what those principals might look like. From there, Sibley's staff voted and narrowed the list down to the 4 most important design principals:
- Be cozy - the space should be more like my living room than a waiting room. That means natural surfaces like wood and cotton and wool. It means we need coffee tables you can put your feet on, a fire place, book shelves with books you can take and framed photos on the wall of our Sibley family.
- Celebrate life - The space should feel alive. Montessori schools celebrate life by having high ceilings and tons of natural light. Some hotels and businesses are using living walls made of safe, inside-friendly plants.
- Be inviting - spaces aren't inviting, people are....your people should welcome me into the space... The new space doesn't have desks for staff. Instead, they'll be standing, ready to great and welcome people, just like Apple does in their stores.
Be integrated - Some people want to solve their own problems with technology, some people want to have someone help them in person. Which ever mode feels best for our guests, our new space should seamlessly accommodate those desires. In fact, it should also work virtually, so if a patient or family has a request from the floors, the team in the lobby can still provide seamless, integrated services.
By the end of this week, the Hub team will turn over a set of design principals for the services, staffing and experiences offered in the Welcome Center. Stay tuned, we plan to surprise and delight!