Planetree Organization Celebrates Opening of New Headquarters Offices, Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. Serves as Architect of Record

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Detroit-headquartered Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. (AKA, recently joined Planetree ( to celebrate the grand opening of its newly renovated headquarters offices in Derby, CT.

Detroit-headquartered Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. (AKA, recently joined Planetree ( to celebrate the grand opening of its newly renovated headquarters offices in Derby, CT.

Encompassing 2,500 sq. ft. of space within the second floor of Griffin Hospital, the newly renovated office suite once served as a patient unit for the medical center. AKA provided architectural and interior design services that transformed the space into a first class corporate office environment.

Planetree is a non-profit membership organization that works with hospitals and health centers to develop and implement patient-centered care in healing environments. The group promotes holistic models of health care that cultivate healing of mind-body-spirit, are value-based, and which support the safety of patients through active involvement in their own care.

The AKA team developed a design solution for Planetree’s offices that is reflective of the organization’s guiding principles and appropriately represents its culture and brand. Designers combined a warm color palette, introduction of natural light, and home like amenities, including crown moldings, a stone fireplace, aquarium, comfortable seating options and a kitchenette area, to create an open and inviting floor plan with a residential feel. Other key elements include a resource library for information about patient-centered environments and operation, a multi-functional conference space and a variety of private and open-office work areas.

“When we first began this process, we were looking for a design that would support our philosophy of care, and the principles we espouse to our healthcare affiliates,” said Planetree President Susan Frampton, PhD. “We wanted a warm, personal-feeling environment that supports communication, learning and human interactions. We also valued the inclusion of elements that might be found in a typical home, such as a kitchen, fireplace, and comfortable furniture. Our ‘board/conference room’ has the look and feel of a living room, and changes the dynamics of meetings held in the space to one of relaxed creativity.” Frampton continues to say “Because of the extensive work AKA has done with Planetree hospitals, they understood immediately what we were aiming for, and developed the perfect look and feel for our space.”

AKA was first introduced to Planetree and its philosophies in 1996, when the firm was commissioned to design a Planetree demonstration prototype for an ambulatory care facility in Moline, IL. For more than 10 years, AKA has led the charge in designing health care facilities that treat patients in terms of body, mind and spirit. AKA has designed more than 2.75 million square feet of patient-centered facilities and spaces totaling nearly $840 million in construction costs. In 2004, Planetree awarded two AKA-designed facilities the “Spirit of Caring Award” in recognition of architectural and interior design conducive to health and healing. The facilities were Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay, WI and Oshkosh West Clinic Facility Inpatient Expansion project in Oshkosh, WI.

When asked to comment on the firm’s involvement in Planetree’s office renovation effort, AKA’s Vice President and Principal for the project, Kimberly Nelson Montague, AIA stated “Our team was inspired both by the passion that Planetree has for healing environments and their understanding that space can have a significant impact on the body, mind and spirit of patients at their affiliate hospitals. We’re thrilled that we were afforded an opportunity to bring that same balance to Planetree’s new offices."

Founded in 1978, Planetree is an international leader in transforming the health care experience by considering health care facilities, processes and protocols from the perspective of the patient. With over 115 member facilities throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, Planetree is demonstrating that patient-centered care is not only an empowering philosophy, but a viable, vital and cost-effective model of care.

Founded in 1895, Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. is a leading planning, design, and management firm with offices in Detroit, Michigan; Birmingham, Alabama; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Juarez, Mexico. The 112 year old firm offers clients a comprehensive range of architectural, engineering and facility services across the health care, education, industrial, corporate, research and technology, and government markets. AKA is presently serving as Architect of Record for Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare’s new replacement health campus in Elmhurst, IL, a facility that will be recognized as a Planetree hospital upon completion. AKA is also serving as Architect of Record for a 650,000 sq. ft. $310 million replacement hospital for Henry Ford Health System, in West Bloomfield, MI.

In 2006, AKA was selected as a winner of the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility in the greater Detroit area, and was also named one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For.

Lisa Donnarumma
(203) 732-1377

Lisa Ries
Albert Kahn Associates, Inc.
(313) 202-7584

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