The new Patient Tower will become the focal point of Downey Regional Medical Center's campus, with the first-floor lobby serving as the main entrance to the campus. Surrounding healing and wellness gardens will help create a therapeutic environment that welcomes patients, visitors, and staff, transcending institutional banality.

The main corridor on the first floor will separate patient and public circulation and serve as the main artery of pedestrian traffic. This separation of patient and public areas will decrease contamination while increasing privacy. The main pedestrian artery, by defining circulation patterns that will accommodate growth, will be a major organizing principle of future phases.

Upgrades to existing patient services will include new equipment and amenities. Patient rooms will be located throughout the third to fifth floors, with nurses' stations at central bays, as well as satellite locations for better patient visibility and a higher level of care.

Support functions such as admitting, reception, a chapel, dietary, and a cafeteria will be consolidated to main traffic areas of the first floor and basement. Taken together, these functions will constitute the public face of the hospital. The loading dock is located away from the main entrance to take advantage of established vehicular circulation.

The new Patient Tower will serve as an anchor for the second phase, a Diagnosis & Treatment Tower connected directly to the north by the main circulation artery. Constructability and circulation have been taken into consideration in these initial phases so as to optimize the operations of the future complete hospital.

Project category: Project in progress (August 2013)

Chief administrator: Robert Fuller, Executive Vice-President, (562) 904-5187

Firm: SWA Architects, (626) 793-9805

Design team: Stephen Wen, AIA, Senior Principal-in-Charge; Fernando Ablaza, AIA, Design Director; Allen Cheng, AIA, Medical Planner; C. Michael Gibson, Project Designer; Gina Yoo, Planning Project Manager; Pravin Patel, Production Project Manager

Total building area (sq. ft.): 179,300

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $427

Total construction cost (excluding land): $76,500,000