Care Dimensions Hospice Brings a Home-Like Environment to Patients

By Roxanne Squires

LINCOLN, Mass. – EGA Architects of Newburyport, Mass., Windover Construction and SV Design Siemaso+Verbridge of Beverly, Mass., completed the new Care Dimensions Hospice in April, achieving a building design that has all the functionality of a state-of-the-art healthcare facility while maintaining elements and finishes with the resemblance of a residential home.

The 27,600-square-foot, $15 million project began in August 2016, with features including 18 private and spacious furnished suites with wheelchair-accessible private bathrooms, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing gathering places for families, children’s play areas, a chapel room, two visitor kitchens and café areas and outdoor pathways with gardens provided for both adults and children.

The team worked toward a vision to create a serene, abode-like facility for the comfortability of both patients and families, while getting skilled medical care for pain and symptom management.

To bring this sentiment to life, the team used considerate design elements throughout the facility, including floor-to-ceiling millwork, soothing color palettes, fireplaces, stone floors, local art and built-in window benches. Additionally, each patient room includes a sofa bed for family members to stay overnight. Ten of the suites also include a garden patio with French doors that can be opened wide enough to allow the patient bed to be wheeled outside.

The custom millwork headwall behind the patient bed has a push-to-close panel concealing oxygen and suction, so that necessary medical equipment is available instantly, but can be hidden when not needed. Safety and nightlights are built into display panels and behind the bathroom mirror, custom handgrabs were cut out of the bathroom vanity top, and shower controls were mounted on the outside of the wheelchair-accessible shower.

The exterior of the building is covered by 75,000 hand-dipped red cedar shingles, contributing to the facility’s sense of calm and tranquility, with many spaces available for peace and quiet. White oak wood planks also was used on the walls throughout the facility as well as masonry walls repurposed from ledge excavated on site.

To add to the element of calmness, the facility overlooks the neighboring Cambridge Reservoir, with the property covering roughly 12 acres.

“Because of the level of detail and finish required of the facility, planning ahead and trade partner coordination was very important to ensure smooth execution,” said Vice President & Project Executive at Windover Construction, Tyler Virden. “Because there were so many unique elements to each area of the building, multiple individual work plans were required.”

Virden explained how the design team of EGA Architects and interior designer SV Design Siemasko + Verbridge, developed innovative ways to integrate medical equipment without sacrificing the “home-like” feeling. For example, they designed a headwall system to hide medical equipment in each bedroom suite. The build of these unconventional design elements required close coordination with each trade to ensure correct installation. The siting of the project was on undeveloped land on ledge that required an extensive site work package. The site package included the blasting, processing and repurposing of the stone for retaining walls throughout the property, as well as fill material for underground utilities.

Windover’s team from Beverly was brought on early for preconstruction of the project to work with both Care Dimensions and the design team. At the beginning of the conceptual design phase, Windover’s team facilitated project budgeting and value engineering in tandem with the progressing design. Since the elements required much coordination and preplanning, Windover became a huge asset to the project.

Virden said that another key to the successful preconstruction phase involved ensuring that consensus was gained from the various client constituents, including nurses, staff and board members before moving forward. The team made sure to include everyone’s input and buy-in to ensure that the overall design and build of the facility truly captured their image.

“This new facility enables Care Dimensions to provide much-needed inpatient hospice care to patients in Greater Boston and the MetroWest communities and offering a homelike alternative to hospitalization for patients with acute pain and symptoms at end of life,” said Virden.