This critical access hospital addition and renovation project is a major 2-story addition to an existing hospital anchored by a new patient bed unit and specialty clinic. The design includes 20 new inpatient beds, including a 4-bed critical care unit, all accomplished while the hospital continues to operate and provide full services for the local community. The new inpatient environments are orientated to maximize the view to the east and the banks of the river valley beyond. In addition to the new private beds, the addition includes a specialty clinic featuring 22 exam rooms and three procedure rooms. A reinvigorated image for the new main entrance was also a key component to the project. It features a welcoming reception desk, five private registration rooms, a gift shop, and soft seating.
The project encompasses nearly 50,000 gross square feet of new construction and is the largest addition to the campus in its history. Administrators commissioned their first capital campaign in over 20 years to help realize the project and it was a significant commitment by the organization to provide new private beds, enhance an aging surgical arena, and provide public dining to the community. The design team took an integrated approach in dealing with the existing hospital and made clear and intuitive wayfinding a key element for the campus. The color and materials used for the exterior design are carried into the interior and reflect the warm neutral colors found within the neighboring rural landscape. The new front entry of the hospital is accented by zinc panels and terracotta cladding which symbolizes the new connection between the hospital and the community.
As part of the sustainable approach to the design, renewable natural materials such as the double flat-lock zinc and the clay terracotta panels were utilized. The materials and colors selected acknowledges the campus aesthetics by developing an architectural design that compliments the existing brick palette but also utilizes a more sophisticated rainscreen wall assembly. The aluminum cladding backup system was segregated from the metal framed exterior walls with rigid non-metallic thermal isolation pads so that only the fasteners penetrate the system. All insulation was then installed within the depth of the backup framing system, outboard of the wall cavity and non-permeable sheet weather barrier to keep the dew point outside of the wall assembly. This method of wall construction reassures the client that their interior environments remain conducive for healing and recovery.
The design creates an enticing environment that is warm and welcoming by using natural materials on the interior with recycled content as applicable and relevant to the necessary healthcare requirements and needs. The inpatient rooms have a “hospitality-like” quality to them, further endorsing the design intent. Large, expansive windows were used to allow as much natural light in and permit maximum views out. The double thermally broken curtain wall system, stainless steel and plastic composite thermal spacers within the insulated glazing units as well as a low-E coating on the glass contributed to the connection to the outdoors without sacrificing the condition of the interior environment. These simple decisions were important factors in supporting numerous healthcare studies that show a connection to the natural environment promotes healing and quicker recovery times.
Designers developed planning that relies less on signage and more on architectural visual clues to identify routes and pathways for patients, staff and guests. Rift-sawn red oak was used throughout the addition as wall base, desk veneers and benches. A wood wall with a stacked effect was developed to support the use of materials in wayfinding while connecting to the existing facility’s extensive use of stacked stone. Every design decision was of crucial importance to facilitate the holistic design direction of the project and deliver a cutting edge inpatient facility to the rural community it serves.