Jacksonville Baptist MD Anderson Centre is situated overlooking St John’s River in a beautiful and serene environment. The new nine-storey 332,000-square-foot centre is designed to provide state-of-the-art care and will also host clinical trials for new drugs.
Creating a tranquil environment
The teams involved in the project design and construction, which included HKS Architects (Dallas), adopted an holistic approach ensuring that all aspects of the design, including materials used on the exterior and within the interior, reflect the goal of creating a positive, calm and caring environment focused on the individuals who inhabit it, namely the patients, their families, and the staff. The facility has a contemporary design enclosing a central courtyard. With open views to all aspects, abundant natural light streams into the interior, creating a warm uplifting atmosphere. The frontage of the L-shaped structure, facing south, is flooded with light, requiring extensive passive solar shading. Levolux elliptical aluminium fins form the horizontal bands of solar shading running across the front of the building.
In keeping with using materials to create a calming feeling of warmth and comfort, Powdertech Wood Finish™ was specified for the solar shading, and after viewing a number of sample swatches the designers chose PWF 31, Black Walnut, a particularly “warm” finish. Back in the UK, Powdertech coated 2000 linear metres of 150mm by 50mm extruded aluminium and these were despatched to Florida as a single delivery.
A beneficial alternative to wood
Using PWF on aluminium or steel allows the architect to combine the strength and longevity of metal with the warm, natural appeal of wood. The finish has excellent corrosion protection and weather resistance and conforms to Fire Reaction classification A2-s1,d0. Unlike wood, the finish will not rot or warp and requires very low maintenance to remain looking good for years to come with a high level of colour and gloss.