When the firm is awarded its first 'win' with a new client, the excitement is palpable. It is rewarding to be recognized by the client as worthy of their time to start a new relationship and teach a new design firm the standards that drive their institution.
I was fortunate to be assigned to the design team for Array's first project with the Children's Hospital of New York (CHoNY). Part of the New York Presbyterian Health System, CHoNY is ranked among the top pediatric providers in the nation. Three bed towers face Broadway, each built in different eras by different teams. Moreover, not all floors connected evenly - there was going to be a lot to learn. Several projects were considered a priority and thus bundled together. The first project we embarked on was the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
With each project came a greater understanding of the health system's goals and culture, as well as a fine-tuning of the collaboration with engineers and construction managers. Each project had elements (such as demolition and infrastructure) happening simultaneously; and each had its own rest periods while the health system finalized funding. Keeping five distinct design initiatives organized was definitely a full-time endeavor for the team.
Working across offices with my peers in New York City gave me the opportunity to work to my fullest potential - turning around in your chair to clarify a design decision with your desk mate is quite different than compiling all your daily issues for a twice-weekly video huddle with another office. I relished the chance to challenge myself to be an independent thinker and keep the projects' schedules aligned and moving forward.
Earlier this year we saw the first project completed - on schedule and with a very satisfied clinical staff. We were warmly lauded at the ribbon cutting, and seeing the finished unit was gratifying. Knowing we are working toward the completion of our second effort on CHoNY's campus within the next few months means more staff and patients will benefit from an expanded inpatient unit better suited to their needs. The three other projects are moving through the design process, as well as waiting for the previous occupants to vacate their new spaces (the phasing of these projects will be a blog topic covered by one of my colleagues).
Lesley Yocum, former Engagement Manager and Project Architect with Array, penned this blog.