Project category: New construction (completed December 2005)

Chief administrator: Manfred Sandler, MD, Operation Manager, (678) 252-3728

Firm: Stanley Beaman & Sears, Inc., (404) 524-2200

Design team: Betsy Beaman, AIA, Principal-in-Charge/Director of Design; Bessie Stephenson, RA, Senior Project Architect; Lisa Lin, Project Architect; Marisabel Marratt, IIDA, ASID, Interior Designer; Ina Sherman, Furniture Specialist; Doug Hawthorne, Construction Administration

Photography: Jonathan Hillyer Photography, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 35,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $149

Total construction cost (excluding land): $5,200,000

With their contemporary use of materials and forms, the architecture and interior design anchor the facility amidst the growing array of professional buildings near the Gwinnett Medical Center.

The fundamental inspiration for the design is the architecture of the heart itself, as well as the transformational effect of the notion of heart on man's spirit throughout history. Just as the heart organizes itself as a symmetrical mirroring of chambers, the plan of the building arranges the clinical and imaging areas in a similar fashion, mirroring these on either side of a central, double-height lobby and reception area. The boardroom and administrative areas of the partial second floor also overlook the heart center of the building.

In its use of form, color, and texture, the interior design develops this initial inspiration in the layering of visual references and analogies to valve-like shapes and vesicular flow. Thus, radiating from the lobby (heart) of the building, the patient corridors leading to the clinical and imaging areas evoke images of arteries and veins, and the alternating pulse of form, color, and texture in the treatment of floors, walls and ceilings evokes the passage through the body's circulation system. This circuitous flow is also expressed in the intertwining layout of the lobby seating, while poetic analogies to the heart as rose are brought to life by the lounge chairs on the second floor balcony.