The Logan Regional Dialysis Center opened doors on Jan. 5, 2012 to welcome their patients and staff to a new kind of treatment: holistic design. Jess Bear Interior Design LLC was hired as a private consultant to the hospital to team up with HKS Architects LTD and Jacobsen Construction. The goal was to create a soothing environment to benefit patients, their families, and staff.
Ample sunlight, diffused artificial lighting, vibrant flora, and earthen tones soothe and invite patients into the treatment bay.
Dialysis patients face a grim diagnosis; the regimented treatments demand at least three hours a day, several days a week. Usually the only possible conclusion of the treatments is through an organ transplant. Most patients and faculty spend years together, building friendships and battling depression and anxiety together. Utilizing evidence-based design, Jess Bear chose colors and textures that help sooth and clarify the mind. Bear incorporated research from designer Tony Torrice that showed strong correlations to subconscious healing through color therapy. This occurred when patients were surrounded with the Chakra hues correlating to their body ailment. The colors of the Chakra that represent the areas of the body affected by organ failure and blood disease are: Swadhisthana (orange), Manipura (yellow), and Anahata (green).
Correlations have been found in chromotherapy research to the Chakra and its association to the body.
This color pallet was then refined by Bear to mimic the native Utah landscape. Not only are the scenic views of Cache Valley lovely, but Bear found that the natural color pallet in her designs reinstate a level of stability and comfort for her clients. Research has found that traumatic events are coded and retrieved by the sensory perception of the mind. Thus, certain hues, smells, or sounds instantly retrieve the traumatic event in vivid detail, with similar levels of emotion during the actual event. To ensure her clients are not “triggered” into these flashbacks, Bear uses the natural, regional color pallet to the building location that has been mentally desensitized by the majority of people due to its constant exposure.
A neutral envelope of earthen hues mimic the high mountain desserts of northern Utah. Diffused sunlight, local trees, copper accents, and wood accentuate and add variety to the Dialysis Treatment bay which, by building and health codes, could not be accessorized.
A variety of natural elements and textures were placed within the reach of the Center’s patients and staff — all colored in those earthen hues of orange, yellow, and green. Ample sunlight, a wide variety of living plants and potted branches, locally made pottery, wooden accessories, tweed-woven treatment chairs, wooden drum tables, and luscious plant troughs can be found throughout the center while still meeting all medical interior and fire codes. Even the privacy curtains were tailor-made in a rich brick red textile to suggest luxurious draperies; a welcome change by patients and staff who tire of the institutional curtains.
The treatment bays were designed in an open concept room, radiating from a central nurses station for patient safety and for spacial relief flooded with layers of natural and artificial lighting.
The main objective of Jess Bear’s work is to decrease the negative connotations of health care design. Hospitatilty and Hospital both stem from the Latin root Hospes, meaning to host, yet these two design industries are worlds apart in client appeal and comfort. Health Care design has been pigion-holed with the strong negative connotations of being artificial, sterile, cold, congested, cluttered and dark. Jess Bear works earthen tones and raw materials into her designs to create a warm and familiar space, while a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures invite and intrigue the individual. Multiple layers of lighting refresh, sooth and comfort patients while the soft and consistent stimulation of fabric, sound, and light rejuvenate and relax the mind. Bear is also sure to include ample amounts of closed storage within a clean, minimalist design to reduce the stress and distraction of clutter.
Through the private research of Jess Bear, it has been noted that depression manipulates the mind in an over-stimulation of color and light; what was once treated with bright, vibrant colors is now understood to be jarring and anxiety-inducing to depressed patients. Bear works within a tight, refined color pallet and brings intrigue to the design through a subtle interplay of light and texture.
Large picture windows offer a scenic escape while clerestory windows and skylights pour natural light into the facility. Diffused florescent fixtures prevent any hum or glare, while each treatment area offers private light control for the patient's comfort.
The new layout utilizes natural sunlight in an open concept with partition walls and long hallways with a balance of high energy setting and low energy locations. This allows a high energy setting (tall ceilings, skylights, clerestory windows, rich colors) to increase social interaction and verbal response. Low energy locations (private bays, ample seating niches) support greater self-awareness, self-control, and endurance for the long durations of seating experienced by patients. This balance of space gently ushers patients and staff in a natural flow of energy as they move throughout the Center.
To further aid in the response and awareness of depression/loss/trauma patients, Bear incorporated many “small moments” or pleasant distractions throughout the center. One example is a small gallery hallway painted in rich adobe orange with vivid artwork connecting the counseling/medical offices to patient treatment bays. What was a plain hallway became an impromptu art gallery simply for the enjoyment of those who frequent the walk. Another example is found the bathroom finishes; the typical white ceramic tile was replaced with a spa-like scheme of three-quatered tiled walls in large, sand stone ceramic tile accented with a banding of slate and glass mosaic tile. Potted reeds amplify the sophisticated color pallet, and add organic texture to soften the tiled bathroom. Cherry veneer cabinetry and doors create a stunning contrast to the muted pallet. Such unexpected color and detail even in the least likely of places assure patients and staff that this is a place of healing, designed especially for them. These rich surprises, and many others like them, help to enrich patients’ experience while receiving treatment at the Center.
Tree forms symbolize stable growth, cyclical change, and endurance.
Gorgeous artwork recreates the unique beauty of the Mountain West’s treescape. The gallery-wrapped giclée artwork is bold, modern, and resilient to sun and harsh hospital cleaners. Most paintings are by artist Kent Lovelace and local artist, Jerry Furhiman. A variety of local ceramic art, leaf imprints, and wooden bowls also adorn and enhance healing by following the selected Chakra elements of clay, rock, and wood. All plant life was selected with aid from Tony’s Grove to ensure vibrant plant growth to maintain the vivid green in contrast to all the rich earthen tones. Even lichen laced rocks and frosted moss were positioned in the plant beds to add more variety and texture to the overall design scheme.
A greater sense of privacy and control is accomplished through locker cubbies, privacy curtains, private coat/purse hooks at each treatment bay, personal TVs, and adjustable lighting.
The influence of these natural elements helps to increase self-satisfaction and assists patients in coping with the rigors of time-consuming weekly dialysis treatments. Special consideration was also taken for the social well-being of the patients. The social support of the Center is enhanced with a family lobby, private counseling rooms, and display stands for networking, classes, and bulletins. All rooms allow total ADA and bariatric access. There is reserved parking within feet of the lobby door for patients. Strategic implementation of ADA guidelines were used in the family lobby to create natural conversational seating groups for wheelchair and stationed seating.
Universal Design was incorporated early into the designing of the Dialysis Center to ensure total access and comfort for all the patients, in any health condition.
The minimalist chairs provide easy mounting from a wheelchair to the chair and tabular arms serve greater comfort for bariatric patients. The seating arrangement provides up to six (6) wheelchair spaces mingled with eight (8) stationed seats, as well as providing ample room for scooters and wheelchairs to navigate through the lobby. It was pertinent to Jess Bear’s planning that no client in a wheelchair be awkwardly placed in hallways away from their family or friends due to lack of space planning.
The Logan Regional Dialysis Center is impressive. This seamless merging of holistic design and behavioral science within the rigid medical building codes is rare. With the advancement in material technology and the natural resources of local communities, Jess Bear believes all health care facilities have the opportunity to feel this welcoming and soothing.
For a consultation or if you have any questions or concerns, please comment below or contact Jess Bear directly at 1.435.890.0908.