Mayo Clinic Health System-Cannon Falls recently took honors as Best in Class in Healthcare by the Brick Industry Association for the 2015 Brick in Architecture Awards. A 15-bed, 80,000-square-foot critical access hospital and primary and specialty care clinic, the BWBR-designed facility is one of nine projects recognized in various market sectors.
Nestled in the hills of east-central Minnesota located halfway between the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region and Rochester, designers used brick for the facility to provide a hilltop beacon for the community, blend in with views of the valley, and convey a professional image to make Cannon Falls the preferred place in the region to go for primary and transitional care. Brick gives the facility of sense of permanence and stature sited on a 51-acre wooded site.
Choosing tones of tan and beige for the entry façade set against a main palette of red brick for the central core, the aesthetic takes on the characteristics of stone familiar to residents in the region at a lower cost. The brick and colors blend in with the surrounding environment, allowing the facility to grow out of the hillside while also becoming a natural part of the landscape.
The earth-tone brick colors continue inside the facility to give patients and staff a warm and comfortable environment for receiving and delivery care. Together with the natural views from inpatient and exam rooms, the brick and colors provide a seamless, pleasant transition from outside to inside, from the natural environment to the care environment.
Mayo Clinic Health System-Cannon Falls opened in July 2014 and offers both primary and transitional care and long-term rehabilitation services, complementing the acute and quaternary care offered by Mayo Clinic in nearby Rochester. All patient rooms have prairie, meadow, gardens or woodland views, achieved by setting back parking so that the building could be surrounded by green space. Outpatient exam rooms are arranged into neighborhoods of 12 rooms, with a centralized nurse station that allows staff views to all rooms. Activity rooms, family spaces within units, and large rooms to accommodate a mostly older demographic allow the Cannon Falls facility to successfully provide a residential rehabilitation program.
The Brick Industry Association received more than 115 entries for the awards this year. The awards honor outstanding, innovative, and sustainable architecture that incorporates clay brick products as the predominant exterior building and paving material.