This community hospital's inpatient dialysis setting had become overcrowded, outdated, and nearly inaccessible after recent additions to the main hospital. The solution was to build a freestanding outpatient Dialysis Center at the eastern end of the hospital property, near a residential neighborhood and surrounded by surface parking. The new facility accommodates 28 hemodialysis stations and a peritoneal-dialysis training suite. It is distinguished from for-profit dialysis centers by amenities for patients, families, and caregivers that mitigate the inconveniences of a typical four-hour treatment: spacious patient areas, comfortable waiting space, Family Conference and Education space, Meditation Chapel, and Garden.

The building's materials identify it as a part of the existing hospital campus, while its scale and massing make the transition to its edge-of–neighborhood site. Building spaces are grouped into three major parts: Patient Family and Training space, Patient Treatment space, and Staff-Service space. These areas are bisected by a north-south passage that forms the building's dual entries: walk-in patients at the south, and EMS transport-assisted at the north. (The program stipulated that separate arrival points should be made for each.) This axis is expressed further though matching cantilevered canopies at each end for passenger loading and unloading.

The interiors of the Reception, Waiting, and Family areas employ oak accents, earth-tone ceramic floors, and rich wallcoverings to create a warm, homelike environment. The Patient Treatment Room is washed in daylight because of its corner location, dual rows of windows, and 13-foot ceiling. The upper windows afford patients a view of surrounding hills and are high enough to screen adjoining parking lots without compromising privacy. The central-batch, pure-water loop delivery system is concealed in custom casework designed to be fully accessible for maintenance. Nurse Tech Stations are designed to store and recharge mobile server carts that include wireless laptop computers, each easily rolled to patient chairs.

Project category: New construction (completed March 2002)

Chief administrator: Brent A. Marsteller, President & CEO, (304) 526-2309

Firm: Edward Tucker Architects, Inc., (304) 697-4990

Design team: Edward W. Tucker, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Nathan J. Randolph, Architectural Intern (Edward Tucker Architects, Inc.); Deborah K. Gibson, Interior Design (Design Centre); David R. Kaiser, Landscape Architect (Environmental Design Group)

Photography: Dale W. Ferrell, Ferrell Photographics

Total building area (GSF): 13,400

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $194

Total cost (excluding land): $3,500,000