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Modernization of all common areas in the existing Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland entailed an extensive investigation of the hospital complex. Common areas were defined as common foot traffic areas on the basement floor and floors one and two. Common foot traffic areas include corridors, main lobbies, vestibules, foyers and elevators, in addition, check-in desks throughout and the cafeteria seating areas.

The scope of work focused the evaluation of three criteria; functionality, appearance, and lighting with the purpose of the modernization project is to create a modern unified hospital, therefore the design solution emphasis was on the hospital as one entity and not individual buildings.

The design approach for the medical complex provided an easy to navigate, uncomplicated in signage and direction, and is bright and non-threatening that will help decrease stress among patients and visitors and have a direct impact on the perceived care of the user. Materials recommended included epoxy terrazzo flooring in lighter color tones with geometric patterns for wayfinding and lighter appearance. Replacement of GWB guardrails with glass guardrails is recommended to improve visual and daylighting to both levels. Recommended acoustical improvements are achieved by adding new ACT ceilings, new carpeted areas and acoustical wood paneling. Walls and doors should be painted in lighter color tones to brighten spaces.

The recommended design relies heavily on proper lighting levels and good uniformity to make spaces appear bright. The appearance of common areas will be bright but calming, neutral but rich in color, understated and practical. The improvement level aims to lend a natural, open feeling to public spaces through generous application of up lighting and day lighting. Advanced daylight management techniques are incorporated to appropriately channel daylight into the space and mitigate negative effects such as glare. These daylight management techniques include electronic controls, shading, diffusion, and/or physical management, such as light shelves or light tubes. This design approach increases the quality of finish materials with best industry design practices.

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