“Seeing through the layers”
GE Healthcare engages in research and development of medical imaging via MRI/CT. We launched our design process by analyzing what the company does and seeing how we could reflect it in architectural terms. Our overarching aspiration was to celebrate GE Healthcare’s uniqueness and to identify the point where architectonic design could encounter and merge with elements of medical imaging. And so, rather like a medical intervention, our design process began with a search into deep layers to make discoveries. We created interfaces between the elements and projected them into the wider setting of the company’s workplace, to build interest within the space.
The partitions separating the work-stations from the shared space let the eyes roam inwards, yet still allow a degree of privacy. Within the space, the layers form unusual perspectives. In the lobby, for example, the viewer’s gaze towards the cafeteria and the green wall passes through latticed metal elements on both sides of the steps. Changing elements of wood build a 3-D picture, like the benches that “grow” out of the various segments and textures, revealing the work-spaces as if exploring the body’s inner organs.
Illuminated elements are etched into a material, evoking the computerized images obtained by radiation from several angles. We used natural materials and a palette of soft colors to showcase the rich textures, in a dialogue with MRI and CT images on a smaller scale. Our design was inspired by GE’s cutting-edge technology, with its options for seeing the human body’s tissues and layers from the outside. And that foregrounding of technological advances combined with the simplicity we used is what makes GE Healthcare’s offices so distinctive.