Ching first joined Payette in 1996 and was promoted to Associate Principal in 2007. She is one of the firm’s leading healthcare designers and planners. Ching is currently working on large-scale hospital expansion projects for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Fifth XiangYa Hospital in China. In addition to healthcare planning and design, her passion is to explore exterior envelopes, working with specific contexts and programs to complete the total building expression.
Ching received her B.Arch. from Chinese Cultural University and her M. Arch. from both Yale University and Chung Yuan Christian University.
Here, Ching shares a bit about herself.
Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?
I have drawn a designer roadmap for myself since I was 15 and have followed the path since then. Focusing on the healthcare design is an unexpected surprise! From intensive interactions with users, translating visions and complex medical functions into space planning and design to creating pleasant healing environment, the whole experience has been fulfilling and rewarding. I’ve loved it every minute!
What are you working on?
After completing the preliminary design package of a 2,500-bed hospital in Changsha, China, my daily attentions are focused on a variety of U.S. projects: a vertical expansion of the Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, a feasibility study of the Satellite Hospital and renovation of the Emergency Department at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston & Waltham, MA and a new inpatient building for a major medical center in Massachusetts. Also, we’re in an assisting role on the construction documents phase of the hospital in China.
What inspired you today?
Very often, I find unexpected happiness and inspiration from opening my mind to listen my daily surroundings, like a simple innocent question from my younger son can inspire me. My family also loves to explore new things and places and it is always an adventure for us every time we travel. To experience colors and textures of nature, different lifestyles in different cultures, food and, of course, urbans architecture is truly inspirational and enriches my life. The exploration is essential for the creative process. Perhaps, that is why I enjoy designing! The architectural design process itself can be inspiring. It is the act of looking through different possibilities and searching for the best suitable way to generate the environment. The design process is always going up and down. When I get stuck in the design process I like to engage myself in simple and repetitive tasks not related to projects like weeding the garden, folding papers, hiking in nature or just sitting in my small indoor winter garden and watching snow.
How do you (or how did you) explain to your parents what you do for a living?
It is a very simple explanation, “I plan and design hospitals.” Even though my parents are close to their 80s and have good health, visiting hospitals for routine checkups and physical examinations cannot be avoided. They love their hospital in Taipei, Taiwan and we often have conversations on differences of hospitals in Taiwan and US. They love the idea of single private patient rooms in US, but enjoy the large food court in their hospital in Taiwan!
What is your favorite Boston-area structure?
My favorite building is the MIT Chapel designed by Eero Saarinen. It has a simple cylindrical exterior form. It is quiet and yet dynamic. Daylight shimmers on the waves of beautiful brick walls and cascades down through a full-height metal sculpture. The simplicity of the space with poetic light quality awakens my spirituality every time I visit. Because of my son’s swim meets at MIT, I am lucky to be able visit the chapel very often!