The Northeast Building is a warm, calming environment providing a high quality of life for patients, their families, and hospital staff. The new tower is the second of three phases designed by our firm to replace the aging hospital complex and bring the campus into compliance with new California state seismic standards before the 2008 deadline.

The Northeast Building includes the Medical Center's laboratory, imaging department, surgery wing, intensive care unit, obstetrics and neonatal intensive care unit, gastroenterology laboratory, cardiac catheterization laboratory, intensive care, and 128 beds. We designed the interior to be as functionally efficient as possible to help staff monitor patients and provide better care.

Every patient has a private room with sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley. Sunlight from large, plentiful windows fills patient corridors and waiting areas. Sophisticated, deep colors and wood-grain floors make interiors feel more like a hotel or private home than a hospital. Varying textures and natural light connect the interior to the outdoors and promote a comforting, welcoming environment.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed November 2004)

Chief administrator: Waldo Romero, Facilities Director, San Fernando Valley Service Area, (818) 847-3340

Firm: SmithGroup, (213) 228-6900

Design team: Waldo Romero, Facilities Director, San Fernando Valley Service Area (Providence Health Systems); Kirk Rose, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Cynthia Keeffe, AIA, Project Manager; Steven Chang, Project Architect; Osamu Matsuno, Project Architect (SmithGroup)

Photography: Tom Bonner; Tim Griffith; SmithGroup

Total building area (sq. ft.): 205,000 (new); 70,000 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $390 (new); $286 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $80,000,000 (new); $20,000,000 (renovation)

To best meet our client's needs, the design team conducted a thorough evaluation of the hospital's operations, including studies of the functional relationships of the diagnostic and treatment departments and patient care units. We created a detailed analysis of potential reuse or replacement of campus facilities to guide the architectural design phases. Careful planning allowed hospital facilities—including diagnostic and treatment functions, nursing units, administration, food services, and outdoor space—to remain fully operational throughout construction.