THIS MONTH’S EVENT FOCUSED ON SELF-CARE
There are two ways of looking at a complex project such as The Floating Hospital’s new clinic construction: Either God or the devil is in the details. The first suggests paying attention to small things reaps big rewards, and the latter implies what looks simple will require more time and effort than anticipated.
Whether devilish or holy, those details are in the realm of The Floating Hospital’s construction project manager, James Barry, MSCM, who ensures they are executed according to plan.
Barry has been at the clinic since March, liaising between The Floating Hospital’s leadership, the architect and general contractor and the various tradesmen on site. His other institutional projects have included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center and NYU’s Kimmel Center/Skirball Theatre, but this is his first large project in healthcare.
“It’s a whole other paradigm,” he said, noting that working with an organization focused on poor populations adds a layer of humanity and need that requires particular attention.
Clear from the onset was a “really strong understanding of what was needed for patients and staff,” he said. Barry works directly with The Floating Hospital President Sean Granahan and Chief Medical Officer Shani Andre to make sure that the clinic’s vision of care is translated in the physical space.
The internal staircase connecting the main reception floor to the upper levels is both a physical and emblematic example of that. Rather than enclosing it with opaque materials, the architects designed a glass-paneled staircase that complements the open reception area and maximizes the natural light from the multi-story windows. Symbolically, it offers a light-filled passage to the exam rooms—a small but important detail that eases what could be a frightening journey for children on their way to see the doctor.
“It is unusual that the head of an organization is also very knowledgeable about design features, can make decisions in a thoughtful way, and appreciates that some things take a little more work to come out the way they were envisioned,” Barry said.