VCH Executive Office
Why Do It?
This project has evolved a great deal over the year that it has been in development. A fast review of floor plan iterations will show this [link]. Some of these changes where at the request of the client, some where made by me as I sought to get the maximum architectural return possible and some by the design team [bill Blackburn, Jerry Headly, Brian Ross, Scott Arenz, Matt Fulvio and Tim Siglin]. Some resulted from feedback from the Vanderbilt facilities team and from the VCH project architect [link].
The result of this effort is an environment designed in every aspect to support a radically different view of reality and way of working within this new paradigm. This aspect of the design is the justification for the effort that went into it and the cost that it will impose to realize it. It is the sole reason for building a space that, while many times more flexible than common space, can be used only for one purpose: the collaborative exercise of the executive routine [link]. This environment imposes the creative habits [link] and rules [link]. This is not a neutral architecture - it is an architecture of transformation [link].
The deal between myself and Jim Smerling, the CEO of Children’s Hospital, is that I will build him an environment based on a new way of working for the same cost as the typical offices that had been programmed and designed prior to him coming to Vanderbilt [link]. He, in turn, will use it as intended. To fit within the budget of a traditional office requires not only inventiveness and careful project management - it will require a financial investment beyond the revenue available. For MG taylor, AI and SFIA Architects-Master Builders this is an R&D project and it will consume the majority of our 2004 budget for this function. The opportunity for Jim is to facilitate his team in working in a way not possible in a convention environment. the opportunity for us is to build and facilitate the use of an environment (other than our NavCenters) that challenges almost every precept of the concept “office.”
The project is not without risk for Jim either. There is no exit from a design like this. It works the way it was designed to work and no other way. If it were to fail, this space could be returned to conventional space and use only by an almost total demolition of what is to be built. Not an acceptable circumstance.
So, it involves financial capital for us and political/ social capital for Jim - running a 200 hundred million dollar hospital facility and operation is a high profile kind of thing. Why do it? Why take the risk? Only, of course, because of the perceived gain.

Interestingly, as I am writing this (April 2004) and as the final work necessary for decision, to go or not, on this project is being finished this week, another similar “experiment” is taking place: Bill Stead, the “father” of the VCBC is moving his office to the VCBC Center [link], in an office we have designed for him, with the expressed purpose of exploring the relationship and possible synergy between his office and the greater capacities of the NavCenter environment. We are installing this environment at this very moment in time [link].

December 2007 Update:
It did not happen for a variety of reasons that are related elsewhere. The thesis was demonstrated almost three years later in Italy.
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Matt Taylor
March 6, 2004
Naschville VCBH


SolutionBox voice of this document:


posted: march 6, 2004

revised: December 6, 2007
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(note: this document is about 90% finished)

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Copyright© Matt Taylor 2003, 2004, 2007

Aspects of work shown here is Patented by iterations and in Patent Pending



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