Medical Office Building Design

A while back I blogged about shooting some shots a new hospital in Port St. Joe for the Sacred Heart Hospital System. Before design of that project took place we put together a master plan of the property that the hospital was to be constructed on. Part of that master plan was for a series of Medical Office Buildings (MOB) to be built over time in phases. Just after construction started with the hospital I started work on the first phase of those MOB’s.

The MOB was designed to house doctor’s private practices that would be in association with the hospital just across the way. A small bridge and access road connects the two sites. The project consisted of a developer who came in to finance construction and operation of the building and was who my client for the project.

Being the lead designer for the hospital project I had set in motion for a contemporary aesthetic for the hospital complex. With the MOB I took advantage of that aesthetic with a playful gesture of the main entrance and stair for the design. Essentially the MOB is a box to house various minor or small medical care and consultation. The idea of the design, while using similar materials and color, was to create a simple modern gesture, as we did with the hospital, for entry to the building. With this articulation of entry I also was aware of the visual relationship the hospital had with the MOB. Both entries are seen from each other. The positioning of the MOB, in part, was to foster that connection.

Ultimately this project was the first for me in my relatively young architectural career that I was designer, architect, project manager, and construction administrator. I was the primary person to work on this project from beginning to end and produced the majority of the work. I also had the opportunity to work closely with the client on this project and together I think we were able to create a building that was cost effective and still be modern, stylish, and functional.

As I’ve become the main photographer for my firm’s work I of course had the opportunity to shoot this project too.

The orientation of the building was key in how I approached photographing the building. The building’s entry sits facing the northwest. The main facade faces essentially west but slightly south. So, shooting in the later afternoon, of the exterior, was the preferred time of day to shoot. Earlier in the day I did take some shots of the exterior, but this became more about getting a feel for angles and positions to take shots from. Also this gave me time to hit some of the interior spaces and shoot them as the sun’s position was not as important in capturing those spaces.

After completing shots for the daytime I headed off to wait on the sun to hit the horizon so that I could capture the building at sunset and into twilight. One main mistake I made while arranging plans for photographing this project was coordination to have access to the building after hours. I had several conversations during the day with the client but essentially realized, to late, that I didn’t give enough time to have someone there to let me in to turn on lights. I was able to capture several usable shots in the evening but a couple of the overall shots during twilight just didn’t come out. Not having those lights on, basically along the main facade, made a huge difference.

Ever job I shoot I learn something new. The big one on this shoot with coordination prior to being on-site for doing evening shots. Though as I type this it wasn’t a new thing, just something I let slip… Even still, I’m pretty happy with the results I was able to achieve in the shots I captured. Hopefully you will think so too 🙂

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