The road to health following a heart episode is quite often a long journey. The journey is a physical, intellectual, and emotional adventure that benefits from engaging in the communal aspect of recovery. Cardiac Rehab and the prospect of exercising your heart and body appropriately after a life-altering cardiac event can worry the most vigilant patient.
Becoming strong is about more than going to a well-equipped rehab center and more than a great physical therapist – it requires a community of support with those who are sharing your journey and with those who are charting their own path to heart health. Imagine having your rehabilitation take place beside a cohort of patients alongside your doctor, nurses and hospital staff who are participating in their own health regimen in a joint effort to keep themselves and you healthy.
As a part of the new Heart Program at West Virginia University Medicine, Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab and Wellness Gym, that is exactly what happens. WVUM has always had a well- utilized staff wellness program – but what would happen if the space better accommodated the shared schedule of an employee and clinical population in an environment where the only goal is to support a healthy lifestyle? This project demonstrates that two separate populations are able to share a space in harmony and with some design foresight, can serve each group as they achieve their health and fitness goals.
In order to promote widespread cardiac wellness at Ruby Memorial Hospital, WVUM wanted an inviting and modern facility collocated for everyone to heal and grow. Balancing a new gym location adjacent to vulnerable patients and busy hospital staff was a challenge. With ICUs sitting above and below the gym, the space is insulated for sound using a raised and insulated floor system and a ceiling system suspended on sound isolation clips. In addition to the floor and ceiling treatment, dimensional sound clouds absorb the reverberation within the space.
Lighting illuminates circulation areas as well as contributes to the spirited aesthetic of the space. Hexagonal lights complement the shape of the sound clouds, and linear lighting is used to indicate circulation path. From the corridor and entry, the linear lighting moves through the space and is evocative of speed and movement.
Sustainability was a priority for this project. By consolidating equipment and optimizing scheduling and occupancy, this co-located space reduced the footprint of the campus gym program by 50%. Additionally, sustainable finishes and LED lighting compliment this space that promotes both well-being for the hospital population and the planet.