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Large Healthcare Design Excellence Award
Presented to EYP Health
Stamford Hospital New Building
Stamford, Connecticut

Project Description:

Challenged with low patient and staff satisfaction, and a strained relationship with the community, Stamford Hospital struggled to maintain optimism. A new administration sparked the desire to transform the care at Stamford. Based on the human-centeredness of the Planetree philosophy, Stamford Hospital began the creative process to reimagine patient care. The hospital’s design evokes empathy for patients, families, care providers and the community. Upon entering the hospital, the design creates a series of enriching experiences from a multistory space articulated with natural wood and stone, to an intimate seating area with fireplaces, an abundance of natural daylight and views of nature.

Being good stewards of the environment, the project is currently registered with the U.S. Green Building Council under the LEED® for Healthcare rating system. Nontoxic low-VOC materials, calming acoustics, and increased ventilation and filtration systems will improve environmental quality and infection control. Terra cotta sun shades were used along public corridors to reduce glare, while roller shades were used in patient areas to individually control glare and privacy. Having a commitment to sustainable materials, low-emitting rubber sheet flooring was used exclusively through high-traffic and support spaces. A combination of fluorescent, LED and lighting controls were used to provide the right levels of lighting where needed and increase energy efficiency where possible.

While patient-care areas have access to natural light, great views, comfortable restorative spaces for families, the staff has access to equally invigorating spaces indoor and dedicated offstage green roof terrace with spectacular views, space for collaboration, respite. To increase productivity, each fifteen nursing neighborhoods has access to natural light, work surface heights for sitting, standing and perching, off-stage hydration stations and cabinets with access to personal protection equipment (PPE) located outside every patient room door. Natural light also permeates into the core of the building through frosted glass doors to each patient room entry. Every floor also featured staff lounge/ lockers, a meditation room and a fully outfitted video conference room for training and collaboration with other institutions. Views were optimized with clean lines of sight in patient areas not only for better patient observation, but also to foster a sense of community, support and security between practitioners.

Stamford Hospital was designed to fulfill patient and family expectations. Flexibility in spaces was key, for example, the enclosed ICU waiting room with frosted glass can be used as respite, but also house a large family with a kitchenette for food service. Peace rooms on each floor serve as a quiet meditation space or large consultation space. Each also houses a semi-private space with an electric massage chair for family or staff. The non-denominational chapel has a beautiful, yet separate prayer room that can be used by all faiths.


Designing for patients while also focused on staff engagement and empowerment proved to be our biggest, yet most beneficial design challenge. Including patient advocate groups and staff throughout the design process meant responding to and being held accountable by multiple stake holders. Employees were encouraged to review plans and were also invited to attend multiple rounds of on-site mock-ups for typical patient care rooms and furniture. Comments from varying perspectives were collected, shared and decided upon by Committee to develop a truly new approach to the delivery of patient care.

An empathetic approach, and a collaboration between patients, clinicians, administrators and architects drove the design of this New Planetree Designated® Patient-Centered Hospital. Never losing sight of the client’s goals to personalize, humanize, and demystify healthcare, the New Stamford Hospital is Healing, Reimagined.