Designing Hospitality into the Hospital Stay


Houston Methodist West Hospital, a busy city hospital, prides itself on its forward-thinking, hospitality-like design. They believe controlling noise levels is a key factor in how positively (or negatively) patients perceive their visit. So when Houston Methodist West and multidisciplinary architecture and engineering firm Page began planning for an expansion to their award-winning initial structure, acoustics was top of mind.

“Acoustic control is a huge factor in patient satisfaction as it really reduces the noise levels of what otherwise could feel like a busy, high-stress unit,” said Brian Gray, Project Manager for Page.

To achieve the patient experience they wanted, Page focused on the patient areas, corridors and nursing stations. They also wanted to make sure the look and feel of the new additions blended seamlessly with the existing space. They started their search where they ended with the original structure, CertainTeed Acoustic Ceilings products.

“The acoustical properties, visual appeal and cleanliness were all desirable and performed very well,” said Gray of the ceiling panels used in the original design.

Areas of Focus:

symphony m Houston Methodist West Hospital targeted acoustics CertainTeed

For this nursing station, Page architects selected Symphony m, for its sound blocking capabilities. Photo credit: Geoffrey Lyon

  • Patient areas and nursing stations

In patient areas and nursing stations, sound blocking was important. For these areas, Page selected Symphony® m, a sound-blocking mineral fiber, and Symphony f, a fiberglass panel ideal for sound absorption. Gray especially liked the versatility of the line which allowed the architects to combine the different products in the same space and keep a cohesive look.

  • Lobby areas and open spaces

For lobby areas and open spaces, they selected Ecophon® Focus™ Dg, a high-density fiberglass panel with a high noise reduction coefficient (NRC). This high-performance product helped with sound absorption while delivering a high-end, visually pleasing aesthetic making it ideal for areas where people congregate.

  • Design continuity between new and existing spaces

Page used both 2’x2′ and 4’x4′ panels throughout the hospital, which made the finished spaces look custom and unique while at the same time matching the aesthetic of the existing space. The new building fulfills its promise of being a fresher, highly functional extension, yet one that still feels like a natural offshoot of the original building.

In both the initial building design and in this expansion, Page has received many positive reviews for the comforting environment they have created within the hospital.

“We get compliments from everybody – patients, staff and visitors – every time we visit, because it’s a place where they feel very comfortable, “Gray said, “and that’s not always something that can be said about a hospital.”

Read the full case study.

Plus, the principles of targeted acoustics and 3 questions to determine the best acoustics approach.

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing such useful information with us. After reading your blog, I completely understood how one can create a comforting environment within the hospital. When I chose Stiely Design Company to change my hospital interior design it was easier for me to get a comforting environment for my hospital. They had fulfilled our design requirements and delivered remarkable results.

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