27 December 2005

Grant Medical Clinic -- examination room

This example of an Examination Room at the Grant Medical Clinic illustrates many of Armstrong's concerns in thinking about medical care.

The glass blocks provide a great deal of natural light as well as privacy. The operable window (with curtain) provides for fresh air ventilation and maintains privacy.

There are external operable canvas awnings that can be adjusted from inside to control direct sunlight that might cause glare.

To a reasonable extent, Armstrong has attempted to fit all of the cabinetry and built-in furniture on a consistent basis. The exam table is positioned as high as possible below the sill for the glass blocks.

There is a continuity of material, dimensions, and proportions in the built-in cabinetry that suggests the idea of a system (now commonplace). There appears to be slots, drawers, niches, and other places for the doctor, nurse, and patient's convenience.

The sink almost fits into his dimensional scheme. The angled position of the mirror in the corner is somewhat awkward, but Armstrong's design required a series of uniquely designed rooms, due to the combination of radial and rectilinear geometry.

Photograph courtesy of the Harris Armstrong Archives, Special Collections, Washington University in Saint Louis.

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