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  • Matt Smithmier

Local Architect Making Mark on Health Care and Around the Country

Kansas City, Mo. — Doctor visits (and, even worse, hospital stays) are inherently stressful. However, health care providers are working with forward-thinking architecture and design firms to create physical sanctuaries that promote healing and reduce stress — giving treatments a much better chance to work.

Founded in 2005, Clockwork has slowly been making a name for itself in this health space by demonstrating the power of design to go beyond aesthetics. Capitalizing on the patient experience by incorporating access to daylight and natural elements, both of which have been scientifically correlated with better clinical outcomes, the Clockwork team has been able to create spaces that are both pleasing to the eye and healing to the body — offering a level of discovery and calm to the patient experience.

The team recently worked with Overland Park-based Infusion Express, which offers patient-centered IV therapy in private suites designed to make the process as comfortable as possible. The company has locations in the Kansas City, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia areas. And Clockwork's Baltimore office recently completed the design and construction of a 15,000 sf outpatient clinic for the nationally-recognized Children's National Health System, headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Chester Bartels, Principal at Clockwork summarized the project this way:

"In lieu of one large waiting room, we designed several separate waiting areas to provide a more personal (and private) patient experience. We made sure to capitalize on the building's large windows to capture as much daylight and view to the exterior as possible. Throughout the clinic, we also infused many natural wood and textured materials to cut down on the "institutional" feel and carry a personal experience through the patient's journey, which is vital to the healing of young patients."

These recent healthcare-related wins come on top of the firm's accelerated growth in both the Kansas City and Baltimore/Mid-Atlantic markets. Recent projects in the Kansas City region include a new headquarters for local not-for-profit Operation Breakthrough, and a new hometown presence for GEICO. In the Baltimore market, the firm is designing an Olympic training center in Leesburg, Va., a new performing arts building for the Compass Rose Theater (a professional teaching theater in Annapolis, Md.), and the renovation of one of Baltimore's historic piers on the inner harbor at Brown's Wharf.

Clockwork's Founding Principal, Christian Arnold, reflected on the firm's growth:

"It's been a busy year for sure, but this kind of growth is the best type of business challenge to have. We're excited to expand both of our markets as we get the opportunity to work with many different types of clients to bring their vision to life."

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