Duke Medicine Pavilion: A Serene External Space for both Patients and Visitors

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Duke University Medical Center desired a layout that could link the three structures on the premises, all the while providing a spectacular welcome to both patients and visitors. Perkins + Will came up with a design that uses bamboo planters to highlight the shape of each distinct area, mirroring the soaring height of the surrounding buildings.

To direct rain water, on the south end of the plaza a canopy has been created to direct water into a special band that infiltrates the drainage system. All mechanical equipment including large emergency generators is concealed underneath the ground which creates a space of beauty free from unnecessary distractions. Perkins + Will say the pavilion is now targeting LEED Gold Certification.

An elevated garden was also integrated into the plan to create a tranquil waiting zone on the third floor of the hospital. Most of the gardens plants include healing herbs to fit into context with the hospital's ideologies.

To uniformly integrate the garden with the hospital, seasonal color was applied to create moments of natural calmness within the busy hospital surrounding. Project Information Architect: Perkins + Will Location: Durham, North Carolina Completion: 2013 Size: 20,000 square feet LEED Gold Certification Awards: The Landscape Architecture Awards for Healthcare Environments, Bronze Award, 2013">exterior space with a new elevated plaza to compliment the site's location surrounded by three buildings.

The elegant space was designed to provide spaces for gathering and short periods of relief from unrest outside the hospital walls. The architects mission was to provide a space that calms the patients and visitors through proper color selection and simplicity in terms of form and material choice.

For the sake of having a focal point in the space, the architects used a Japanese Maple tree installed on one side of the ellipse-shaped precast wall. In order to make use of the ellipse space, more gathering space has been created within the ellipse accompanied with furniture to welcome people who may want to have informal meetings within the hospital. The space is also used as an outdoor diner. Giant bamboo planters have been used to accentuate the outline of each particular space while reflecting the verticality of the buildings around.

To direct rain water, on the south end of the plaza a canopy has been created to direct water into a special band that infiltrates the drainage system. All mechanical equipment including large emergency generators is concealed underneath the ground which creates a space of beauty free from unnecessary distractions. Perkins + Will say the pavilion is now targeting LEED Gold Certification.

An elevated garden was also integrated into the plan to create a tranquil waiting zone on the third floor of the hospital. Most of the gardens plants include healing herbs to fit into context with the hospital's ideologies. To uniformly integrate the garden with the hospital, seasonal color was applied to create moments of natural calmness within the busy hospital surrounding.

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Project Information

Architect: Perkins + Will
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Completion: 2013
Size: 20,000 square feet LEED Gold Certification
Awards: The Landscape Architecture Awards for Healthcare Environments, Bronze Award, 2013

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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