Facility: Perham Health
Location: Perham, Minn.
Architects: Horty Elving in association with bhh Partners of Perham, Minn.

Designers of Perham (Minn.) Health wanted to make wayfinding in the 25-bed critical access hospital as easy as possible for patients and visitors.

To help accomplish that objective, they designed what has become known as "the canoe", a central organizing atrium space that draws on the hospital's geographic location for inspiration.

The canoe shape of the atrium and ceiling connects the facility with the lakes of northern Minnesota and outdoor activities important to its residents.

The shape evolved to maximize visibility while allowing patients and visitors to access all services from one central point, a key design element for the 120,000-square-foot facility.

During the day, the atrium floods the interior of the facility with daylight. At night, it glows and acts as a beacon to help people find the hospital.

To submit a Last Detail case for consideration, contact Jeff Ferenc at jferenc@healthforum.com.