Project category: New construction (completed March 2005)

Chief administrator: Michael Winthrop, Chief Executive Officer, (419) 483-4040

Firm: FORUM Architects, (216) 363-0000

Design team: Denver Brooker, AIA, Principal, Project Designer; Daniel Ramer, AIA, Project Architect (FORUM Architects); Dennis Wessel, PE, LEED, MEP Engineering and Technology (Karpinski Engineering); James Guyette, Officer-in-Charge (Pepper Construction [Construction Manager]); David Brown, Project Executive (AMDC [Program Manager])

Photography: ©2005 Barney Taxel

Total building area (sq. ft.): 130,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $216

Total construction cost (excluding land): $28,135,000

The Bellevue Hospital is a 50-bed replacement hospital for Bellevue, a rural community in northern Ohio. The board of trustees and the hospital administrators for this private, nonprofit hospital embarked on this project to further their clear mission: “Quality Patient Care, Close to Home.”

The design reflects this mission starting with the facility's image, which projects a comfortable, caring environment. Both the site and the building provide clear zones of service and staff access and circulation distinct from patient and visitor circulation paths, enhancing the patient and visitor experience and increasing operational efficiencies. Entry and orientation on the site and in the building are defined with two primary entrances that converge in a central atrium, from which all departments can be accessed.

Departmental adjacencies are planned for maximum functionality and future expansion capabilities. Surgery is located above the emergency department and on the same floor with all inpatient rooms, creating immediate adjacencies with the intensive care unit and the family birthing center.

The new facility features all private rooms with expansive views from large windows to the surrounding fields. Access to natural light plays a part in every department, either through direct windows and skylights or interior windows, which borrow natural light from adjacent spaces.

The building features a sweeping, curved façade of brick and precast concrete accents, extended eaves, and a low-sloped, hipped roof that conceals mechanical equipment. The copper-domed roof of the cafeteria, dubbed “Main Station Café,” anchors one end of this façade, and a patient terrace provides views of the site on the other. The hospital exudes a resort-like presence that carries through into the interiors, where warm, rich colors and materials are used judiciously to maximize the modest budget.

This project's success is a testament to the team approach that was employed. The hospital, with the owner's representative and program manager, assembled a complete team early in the project, including the architect, consulting engineers, and the construction manager. Users were intimately involved in the detailed layout and specification of every space. Full-size mock-ups of patient rooms and surgery-recovery spaces were built in which hospital personnel could evaluate all the previous design decisions, allowing for further refinement. The project team balanced program, technical, and aesthetic features, and costs, allowing the hospital to purchase some technologic upgrades within the overall project budget. A wireless system and pictorial archival communication (PAC) system for radiology will allow the hospital to provide more efficient, effective patient care.