The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide employees with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups. Autodesk Gallery Curator, Jason Medal-Katz, chose the title, ambassador, instead of docent because the correct way to address an ambassador is "your excellency." Alas, this never happens.
The Healthy Structures exhibit is just one of the exhibits that you can see on the 2nd floor of our One Market office in San Francisco:
As buildings, hospitals are incredibly complex, yet their mission is simple and dire. They are built to address health in all its guises. Since its founding in 1980, French architecture firm, Brunet Saunier, has strived to integrate smart solutions in the design of buildings — both within and outside of the medical community. The Marne-la-Vallée facility, located near Paris, France, serves as a blueprint for the creation of efficient contemporary health care facilities.
Unlike in centuries past, hospital designers today consider the use of the buildings beyond pure function. How are they experienced and used? Inside, patients and visitors will find innovative architectural strategies, considered detailing, and updated infrastructure that make the facility 20% more energy efficient.
Single structure, countless possibilities
The architects refer to the building as a monospace, a structure with a strong conceptual identity, but one flexible enough to address a variety of evolving requirements that may arise in the future of medicine. A metaphorical inspiration for this project, the Rubik's Cube exemplifies a single geometric form composed of interchangeable colored units, which can be moved to expand the building's functionality with new patterns of use.
Diagrams and aerial renderings express how the building's functions can be modified, acknowledging a system design principle called extensibility.
The colors represent patterns generated within this standard form.
On the grid
The hospital, with nearly 600 beds for a range of patients, is a large block structure with a series of open patios that define different departments, sections, and functions of the facility, such as medicine, surgery, and radiology. The continuous organizational structure anticipates evolving possibilities, which ensures the building's adaptability as medical technologies change.
Every element of the building as been thought out, down to the basic fixtures.
The hospital's lighting was custom-designed to meet the unique needs of patients and medical professionals, using light temperature and LED technology to enhance the sense of psychological and physical well-being. So effective at accomplishing its goals, the fixture has since been produced for the consumer market.
The Elica door handle was designed for maximum usability and elegance in the hospital setting.
Its wide, flat-top surface enables easy access — even for those with reduced hand mobility, an elbow will do the trick. The end of the handle is rounded to prevent it from getting caught on anything. This incredibly simply and effective design is also easy to use by people in wheelchairs. This fixture won the prestigious Red Dot award, an internationally recognized quality seal for product design and then went into commercial production.
The role of hospitals is changing to encompass more social functions, be it welcoming visitors or hosting health fairs.
In the building, the interior courtyards literally insert fresh air into the flow of daily activities and add an energetic rhythm to movement through the facility. The courtyard walls are painted in meditative hues that shimmer and reflect depending on the time of day and quality of light. When seen from the interior of the building, the colors serve as department signage. The glass exterior is silkscreened with vertical white lines, a surface design that allows the building to blend into its surroundings. The pattern is also a dynamic expression of the hospital's perpetual activity.
This adaptable architecture is intriguing as Jérôme Brunet notes that hospitals have 3 types of spaces:
- Spaces of technical expertise where materials are sleek, washable, and without asperity.
- Spaces for accommodations, lodging, circulation, and consultation.
- Public parts that are the hall, cafeteria, and other restaurant spaces.
Each space was designed with simple, inexpensive, but effective materials that can be easily demolished and replaced. So, today's waiting room could be transformed into tomorrow's surgery room as medicine evolves.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Health is alive in the lab.