Brigham and Women's Hospital | 45 Francis Entry
Boston, MA | 2015
A central part of President Nabel’s initiative to bring nature to the patient and visitor experience at Brigham & Women’s Hospital is to re-create and enhance the major entrances. The 45 Francis Street entry is a hive of activity, with large pedestrian volumes, and a robust valet operation for patients, staff and visitors. Our improvements include the replacement of a canvas shelter with a larger, translucent canopy that cantilevers over much of the drop off area. The structure expresses arrival and entry, and our reconsideration of the traffic pattern in the drive court resulted in simplified circulation, and new wayfinding signage by Cloud Gehshan Associates.
To improve the experience of this largely paved and architectural space as a landscape, we strategically introduced vegetation wherever possible, and augmented existing, mature trees with plants at the pedestrian scale. Along the west and north edges with little space for vegetation we inserted custom planters and vine covered screens, increasing the presence of plant material. To the east, new shrubs and perennials are planted beneath existing honey locusts. The wider canopy and sidewalk, coupled with new seating and ornamental planters, enliven the waiting space beneath the canopy that had been previously dark and crowded.
This project also includes two ‘interstitial garden spaces’ visible from both the drive court and from interior building spaces. Done primarily as an improvement to the hospital’s main ‘Pike’ circulation spine, these gardens bring the possibility to view nature and daylight from deep within the large structures of the hospital.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
McNamara Salvia, structural engineers
Cloud Gehshan Associates, graphics, wayfinding
Ripman Lighting Consultants, lighting
KMDG, architect + landscape architect