VCU’s new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Medical Education Center was designed by the internationally-acclaimed architectural firm, Pei-Cobb-Freed & Partners, in collaboration with Philadelphia's Ballinger Architects. The new academic and research facility for the School of Medicine adds 200,000 square feet of clinical simulation, learning labs, classrooms, and research laboratories as well as student activity and administrative office space. This collaborative space is home to a transformed curriculum, setting a new standard in medical education.
KSA Interiors was brought on-board by VCU Facilities Management Department / Planning and Design Division for the selection and design of the furniture. KSA’s vision was to continue the architects’ blend of contemporary and sensible design concept into the furniture selection and design.
The building’s flexible learning environments are a vital element in the medical school’s innovative curriculum redesign and an integral driver of the furnishings’ design concept. Fittingly-named Student Interaction Areas, located at most floor lobby areas are ‘mini-commons’ areas designed to complement post-classroom learning and collaboration between students and faculty. Our design team used a variety of seating and standing-height collaborative dividers to accommodate a diversity of posture types and uses to support this environment. Classroom furnishings also support a challenging combination of flexibility and permanent technology. Acute audio-visual coordination was required to manage the use of flip-top tables and unique technology units for maximum technological effectiveness.
A conserved 70-year-old mural, depicting images of staff physicians, nurses, patients, and medical equipment of both the 19th Century and 1930s and 1940s, is the focal point of the main-level Student Forum. In order to foster the design concept of sophistication, modern classic furniture was aptly placed near the mural and provides a stunning complement of rich red and neutral colors, enhancing the beauty of the mural. The historic mural was originally intended to expose medical students in the mid twentieth century to the cultural ideas and pursuits beyond medicine and to provide a glimpse into the history of the institution which opened its doors almost 100 years earlier in 1838. The interior designers’ placement of the modern classics provides a rich balance to the historical element of this mural while also tipping its hat to the contemporary features of the building’s architecture through chrome elements and sleek upholstery.
The design concepts of collaboration and sophistication are also evident in the upper-floor open office faculty and private administrative offices. A mix of warm wood finishes in the private areas paired with sleek, but inviting, low-height workstations, provide the interaction and sense of professionalism desired by both the school’s leadership and staff. The design team achieves these goals all the while ensuring that the interior environment aligns with the project's sustainability and LEED directives through the use of appropriate furnishings and interior materials, as well as through utilization of daylighting concepts.
Completed in the Spring of 2013, this new medical school building is a state-of-the-art, LEED Silver facility enabling increased class sizes and a transformative approach to medical education.
KSA Interiors Presents "Visual Discovery:
Creating a Meaningful Vocabulary for Your Next Design Project" at the VANHA Annual Conference May 21st-24th.
A design team from KSA Interiors, led by Cameron Stiles, CID, FASID, LEED AP; will be leading an interactive presentation at the VANHA Annual Conference in Hot Springs, Virginia. This collaborative and fun Design Thinking exercise will engage conference attendees in a mock design session where they explore Visual Discovery techniques and engage in role-playing collaboration scenarios. Participants will work with the KSA team to define design priorities and vision for the administrators, residents, and staff of the fictional “Heron Bay Retirement Community!”
Sometimes many small efforts manage to come together and turn into something much larger and far more impactful than originally intended or anticipated. This is how KSA Interiors discovered that we had tremendous influence as a company on how well our employees and team members live their lives through promoting wellness.
Wellness for us began as something we did not entirely realize we were doing, at least not in an organized fashion. It simply began with an awareness of how much harm a sedentary - sitting at your desk - lifestyle can cause. Slowly, awareness blossomed into a full-fledged effort to eat better, work better and live better.
This week on Tuesday, February 12th, KSA Interiors will be recognized by Sports Backers as an "Active RVA Certified" Employer.
We appreciate the accolade, but far more important is what this means for our team and how it impacts our daily lives.
In 2009 KSA's CEO Kim Schoenadel asked if there were any way we could bring exercise into the daily routine at KSA. We soon hired a Yoga instructor, Sonia Stoeckli from Spiritual Flow Yoga, to lead our team in an after-hours yoga session each Thursday. Bringing Sonia into the office spurred a revolution at KSA of various team members becoming champions for wellness in the workplace.
One of our former team members, Joanna Yates, took a deep interest in Yoga, becoming an instructor on her own and leading our team through "Yoga Breaks" intended to get us out from behind our desks.
Yoga, was soon followed by weekly wellness updates lead by Gillian Bowman, who took the lead in helping to internally promote healthy eating and daily habits. Afternoon walking groups soon formed, as did "Daily Health Checklist" competitions, and weekly Zumba classes held within our offices.
In our second year of the checklist competition, Gillian noted that many of our team have commented to her on the benefits of the program - whether it is related to better sleep, healthier eating, or the occasional better fitting pair of pants!
By 2013, we had not only incorporated an active healthy lifestyle into our corporate culture, we also incorporated it into the way we do business. In January 2013 our workspace was renovated to change the way we collaborate, interact and work. Wellness and ergonomics were prime factors in developing our new work styles. Standing height work tables replaced conference tables, and sit-to-stand adjustable height desks replaced cockpit style cubicles.
Sara Lasseter incorporated this aspect of wellness into the design solution she championed for our offices "We are always told the risk of living sedentary lives while being seated all day in the office. Having the flexibility to adjust the desk heights for periods of time not only changes my posture but I am often more apt to move and stretch while still being connected to my task".
Wellness of course does not stop with the challenge to improve our physical selves and environments. After reading several studies on the emotional and mental benefits found from inviting pets to the work environment, KSA embarked on a "Dog Days" program where we invite our furry pals to the office the first Friday of every month.
"We all look forward to Dog Days" states Heather Croy. "Whether it’s your dog or someone else’s, having them around creates a happy buzz around the studio".
The best component of our wellness program however is the way it galvanizes our team around supportive goals and camaraderie. Whether we are engaged in personal challenges to lose weight, training for a race, or engaging our competitive spirit, we have found that the shared experience with our co-workers sits at the root of our success.
KSA is proud to join the list of companies working to build a more healthful workplace, and hope our experience will encourage others to do the same. Here is to good health, and shared wellness with all our friends in the greater Richmond community.
Perhaps we will see some of you on one of our lunch time walks, or at the next Innsbrook Corporate 4 Miler? Feel free to join us as well in our Daily Health Checklist competition. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!
KSA Interiors is pleased to announce several promotions for key members of the KSA team! Karen Burton, Melissa Moseley, and Sara Lasseter will each be expanding their leadership roles at KSA as Associates within the organization.
We are excited for the opportunities before each of them, and know that their talents and leadership will drive KSA's future success.
Please join us in congratulating Karen, Melissa, and Sara for their hard work and dedication!
KSA Interiors is a SWaM certified firm that has been home to an experienced team of interior designers and project managers for nearly 30 years. Our team can't wait to provide you with creative solutions related to interior design, space planning, environmental graphics, and facilities services.
We look forward to discovering...What Inspires You?