“When you’re in a hospital room and can’t move, the only thing you can do is hear.”
That’s Rich Dallam, NBBJ healthcare partner, speaking to Allison Arieff in The New York Times about the importance of acoustics in architecture. In a hospital, sound can play a crucial role in helping or hindering the healing process, which is why NBBJ put so much care into the design and materials of the E.W. and Mary Firstenburg Tower at Southwest Washington Medical Center, the Lunder Building at Massachusetts General Hospital, and many others.
The article also discusses the importance of designing for varying levels of acoustic privacy in the workplace. In the end, Dallam says, whether at work or in the hospital, the most important element of sound control is choice: “This small thing gives you some agency.”