AIA Long Island Archi Award, Un-built Architecture, 2013
In the summer of 2012 Narofsky Architecture was retained to prepare a Feasibility Study for the development of the 10th floor roof of the Greenberg Pavilion, adjacent to the bone marrow transplant unit of the New York Presbyterian Hospital.
The conversation was simple, our understanding was complex—create an environment outside the patient rooms of the bone marrow transplant unit to replace 12,000 sq. ft. of gravel ballasted roof with something visually appealing and intellectually stimulating, something that would add to the psychological wellbeing of the patients who are sequestered in their rooms for extended periods of time.
The concept sounds simple. When we asked why NYPH chose an architect to consider this task, instead of a landscape architect, or even an artist, their answer was that they were not sure what it should be—“maybe it is bees!”
Our concern was that with a beautiful, visually stimulating environment just outside their windows, a long-term patient may feel even more isolated.
With all this preoccupying our thoughts a new idea started to take shape—how can we bring the patients out without bringing them out? How can we foster some interaction between patients without them coming into close-contact which could be so dangerous for them?
We decided to explore a more aggressive approach and an expanded program: the addition of an environmentally controlled visitors' lounge and the replacement of the patient room windows with multi-dimensional window bays, which reach out into the roofscape, blurring the line between indoors and out. They would enable visual communication between patients and a sense of partnering in an otherwise isolated environment. Perhaps an audible exchange through a direct intercom system could even be incorporated to further bring patients together.
New York Presbyterian Hospital, Manhattan, NY