Project category: New construction (completed February 2005)

Chief administrator: Ron Robinson, Administrator, (904) 821-6000

Firm: Gresham, Smith and Partners, (904) 332-6699

Design team: Joseph F. Thompson, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; James R. Kolb, AIA, Design Principal; Shawn Kirouac, Associate AIA, Project Manager; Elisa A. Worden-Kirouac, IIDA, NCIDQ, Interior Designer; Amy E. Davis, Interior Designer

Photography: Joseph Lapeyra Photography; Jim Kolb, Gresham, Smith and Partners

Total building area (sq. ft.): 252,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $214

Total construction cost (excluding land): $54,000,000

Baptist Medical Center South opened in February 2005 as a satellite full-service community hospital with 92 beds. Services include Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics, Diagnostics, Surgery, and Medical/Surgical inpatient nursing. Design concepts focus on patient safety, reflect evidence-based design, accommodate emerging technologies, facilitate operational efficiencies, and provide a clear pattern for expansion and adaptation.

The design focused on creating a parklike setting and a community landmark in a rapidly growing suburb of Jacksonville, Florida. The building façade clearly articulates primary entrances, vertical circulation cores, a horizontal medical concourse, and family lounges.

The plan has a series of key drivers. First, all patient and family destinations are accessed along a two-story medical concourse at the front of the building. The concourse provides an intuitive wayfinding system that reduces patients' dependence on staff for directions.

A second driver is the creation of three internal gardens. These gardens serve as internal landmarks, further supporting wayfinding. The central garden is visible from the public elevator lobby at every level. The gardens also serve to bring daylight and garden vistas deep into the plan. One benefit is that 16 of the 18 ED exam rooms have garden vistas to provide positive distractions for patients during a potentially stressful experience. The quality of daylight throughout this facility sets it apart from other hospitals.

Throughout the facility, a focus has been placed on creating a healing environment for patients, families, staff, and physicians. A patient medical library is located adjacent to the public elevators and central garden. Patient floors have a family retreat, which includes a lounge, kitchen, and laundry. In the ICU, a separate quiet lounge and guest showers are provided. Within every patient room, a daybed, refrigerator, desk, and Internet access are provided for family members. Individual controls for room lighting, Internet access, TV, music channels, and window blinds are provided at the bedside.

An extensive art program has been incorporated into the facility. Generally the work is from local artists. The tile mural in the emergency department serves as an elegant distraction for patients and families.

The hospital will allow future expansion of a new bed tower to accommodate up to 250 beds and two 75,000-square-foot medical office buildings. Two parking structures can also be added in the future.