Little Company of Mary Hospital—South Tower Addition Torrance, CA
PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction (completed March 2002)
CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Mark Costa, COO, (310) 543-5868
FIRM KMD, (415) 398-5191
DESIGN TEAM Jim Diaz, FAIA, Principal; Mohiner Datta, AIA, Principal; Rob Matthew, AIA, Director; Ken Coldwell, Director; Elaine Pavia, Project Manager
PHOTOGRAPHY Larry Hawley; © Jeff Goldberg/Esto
BED CAPACITY 122 (new)
TOTAL BUILDING AREA (SQ. FT.) 123,500 new; 22,500 associated remodel
TOTAL LAND AREA (ACRES) 11.6
TOTAL COST (EXCLUDING LAND) $37,500,000 new; $5,500,000 remodel
Main Lobby Addition: The public enters the main lobby through a covered walkway leading into a two-story space connected with the floor above. Waiting areas are provided above the lobby on the second, third and fourth floors.
The South Tower Addition supports the delivery of modern hospital services in a remarkable healing environment. The project is among the first completed according to the most recent California seismic legislation. The five-story, 123,500-square-foot addition and expansion house the main lobby, upper-floor waiting areas, Emergency Department, Pharmacy, Critical Care, Labor/Delivery and two Medical/Surgical units.
The design of the facility successfully reflects the vision of family-centered care, as well as physical and emotional healing through the use of natural light, materials and human-scaled spaces. This hospital demonstrates the effectiveness of the architectural surrounding for the recovery of patients and staff retention.
The five-story South Tower: Planning and design concepts of the project led to easy patient/visitor wayfinding, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Primary public and service circulation are separated. Patient floors achieve efficiency by standardizing room widths and configurations. Stacking patient toilet rooms around the perimeter gives the facility greater flexibility for future modifications.
The building blends into the existing campus and establishes a fresh image in several ways:
The apparent scale of the building is reduced through a one-and-a-half-story slate-tile base separated from the three upper floors that are constructed of precast concrete clad, implying a four-story structure instead of five.
In the lobby expansion block, two light-filled, two-story spaces provide visual and spatial connections between floors overlooking the campus landscape. This contemporary glass form transforms at night into a transparent lantern highlighting activity inside.
Patient-floor corridors are shaped and finished to create the feeling of a hotel as opposed to an institutional facility.
Generously sized windows in patient rooms and other key areas allow natural lighting and maximum views.
Abundant gardens provide quiet spaces for restful contemplation, and a waterfall cascades from the second-floor ceiling to a pool in the lobby. The commissioned artwork supports a culture of dignity and care and the religious mission of the hospital.
From the sweeping curve of the southern façade to the waterfall and artwork, a series of deliberate gestures humanizes this important building type and breathes life into the traditional ideas of advanced medical facilities