OVERVIEW: The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies brings children's and women's services together in a beautiful, highly functional facility. The $100 million project entails over 391,000 s.f. of new construction and approximately 23,000 s.f. of renovation. Its conceptual core was derived from wanting to meet the needs of women and their children within a medical and nurturing environment. Understanding that the surrounding atmosphere can have a dramatic recovery impact, this distinctive design incorporates a sense of serenity originating from a high-end hotel concept that feels more like a healing getaway than a hospital stay. This striking architectural structure creates a signature design for the Arnold Palmer Hospital campus and Orlando Florida skyline.
ORIGINALITY: This project was conceptualized as more of a hotel than a hospital. With 11 floors and a full range of services for women and babies, this striking composition of dark glass and masonry towers creates a unique and signature design not traditionally found in the halls of a hospital. Understanding that the surrounding environment can have a dramatic impact on the road to recovery, this distinctive design incorporates a sense of serenity throughout with the use of soft, calming colors and tones. Housed in a glass globe with a spectacular cable-suspended entry canopy, one realizes as they enter that this new hospital is cutting edge and designed with more than just medical services in mind.
SUITABILITY OF THE DESIGN TO PROJECT CHALLENGES: Ultimately, budget was the only obstacle that kept this project from meeting the initial goals outlined. Budget determined what was or was not included. The original design experienced many transformations. The client reviewed all the details, ideas, renderings and mock-ups. Using a budget to determine the parameters, a design was crafted that held true to the spa concept. The actual project became a scaled down version of something comparable to a performing arts center or international resort.
INCORPORATION OF INTERIOR FINISHES AND FURNISHINGS: The main entrance sets the stage of calming ambiance by having the walkway pass through an overhead fountain archway. Cove lighting is used instead of the typical overhead fluorescents, offering a softer feel and avoiding direct light above patients on gurneys. Several nurses’ stations are lit with fiber optics, utilizing various color options. Glass is used extensively to bring the outside world inside providing an abundance of natural lighting. Way-finding graphics go beyond the typical sterile signage; and rooms have been specifically decorated to deliver a higher sense of privacy for the patients and their families while utilizing interior design methods of concealing equipment or med-gasses with retractable artwork or moveable textiles.
BENEFITS TO THE CLIENT: Throughout the entire process, the design team strategically negotiated with each interested party. Our firm was able to meet the financial desires of the umbrella arm, the community and business needs of the facility’s managing arm and the functionality needs of the staffing arm. Ultimately the project bridged all gaps and found a cohesive, successful creation that served the primary interested party - the community. The overall benefit was creating one of the lowest priced hospitals built in the U.S. within the last five years while still featuring a state-of-the-art design, premium amenities, and high-end finish out.