The Women's and Surgical Center at DeKalb Medical Center in Atlanta offers comprehensive medical services for obstetric, gynecologic, and maternity care, with an emphasis on family centered maternity. The center's lobby faces the main entry of the campus, simplifying wayfinding. The classical architectural elements of the center are finished with stone, synthetic stucco, and glass curtainwall systems. Lobby views on each floor overlook the landscaped campus plaza.


The 163,000-sq.-ft., five-story center is designed with the capacity for two additional floors when required. Three elevated pedestrian bridges and an underground tunnel provide easy access to the existing hospital. Building services—including the loading dock, compactor, and underground parking for 400 vehicles—are concealed beneath the center.

The two-story canopy of the porte cochere was designed to minimize shadowing of the interior spaces and to maximize the opportunity for natural light to paint the lobby interior. The Women's & Surgical Center is equipped with five-star amenities, and its grand lobby is casual, yet upscale, and reveals upon entry that the design team developed a unique center for this metropolitan hospital.

The inviting, lodge-like lobby is detailed with twin stone fireplaces and seating areas appointed with Mission-style furnishings. A uniquely designed mobile and original works of art demonstrate the level of detail and quality of finishes throughout the center. A welcoming café, just across the lobby, provides clients and medical staff with a comfortable and relaxing environment for a meal or a cup of coffee. A grand player piano suffuses the space with classical music. The center's entire interior is expressed in earthy colors, natural stone accents, antique brick, and amber-toned lighting. All patient rooms are private and feature the same level of finishes and Mission-style furnishings as the public spaces.

Project category: Addition (completed December 2006)

Chief administrator: Eric P. Norwood, FACHE, President & CEO, (404) 501-5209

Firm: CDH Partners, Inc., (770) 423-0016

Design team: Kevin Donalson, Senior Project Manager/Designer; Michael Knerr, Assistant Project Manager; Anna Bell, RID, Interior Designer (CDH Partners, Inc.); Structural Design, Nannis & Associates Structural; Mechanical & Plumbing Engineers, Perry Crabb & Associates; Electrical Engineers, KLG

Photography: Sabrina A. Carpenter, CDH Partners, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 163,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $258

Total construction cost (excluding land): $42,000,000

The five-story facility includes 18 private, hotel-like Labor-Delivery-Recovery (LDR) suites, giving expectant mothers the convenience and comfort of staying in the same room before, during, and after delivery. There are eight private family waiting areas located adjacent to the LDR suites. The center is equipped with the largest antepartum rooms in Georgia for expectant mothers requiring hospitalization before delivery. Each of the 62 postpartum Mother-Baby rooms is equipped with high-speed Internet access, a refrigerator, a private bathroom, and a window-seat couch roomy enough for guests.

The Women's & Surgical Center also includes a business center, a 100-seat auditorium, classrooms, and a boutique. The underground parking elevator takes patients directly to the admissions department.