The University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics network includes medical and educational facilities that serve both the Salt Lake community and the Intermountain West at large. This institution has experienced dramatic growth since its flagship building, University Hospital, was constructed in 1983. This kind of growth, combined with the university's desire to increase services and the quality with which they are delivered, created a critical need for expansion.


The Eccles Critical Care Pavilion itself is typified most by its triangular form. This form followed the functional plan of the SICU, located on the second floor. The program called for visual access to each room without the use of cameras. After a number of studies, the triangular plan was found to best accomplish the visual connection required by the program and, in the process, created efficient nurses’ stations at the acute angled corners. This medical planning concept of using a triangular form became the driver for the adjacent floors and, ultimately, the aesthetic expression of the building.

The first floor houses the relocated Emergency Department, in which urgent care areas were separated from nonurgent “fast-track” areas, but situated such that the two units could function together or separately as patient volume dictates. The Operating Rooms, located on the third floor, were added to the existing OR Suite so as not to create staffing inefficiencies. A new PACU and 24 private recovery rooms were created and connected to the expanded OR Suite. This configuration enables staff to have private conversations with patients and their families.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed April 2003)

Chief administrator: Richard Fullmer, (801) 585-2716

Firm: Architectural Nexus, (801) 924-5000

Design team: Don Finlayson, President; Kenner Kingston, Associate; Scott Larkin, Principal; John Leggett, AIA, Project Architect; Dave Cassil, Principal

Photography: ©2003 Dennis Mecham; ©2003 Paul B. Richer

Total building area (GSF): 145,000 (new); 14,000 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $178

Total cost (excluding land): $32,000,000+