Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital—Lakefront Tower [Hamilton, NJ]
Project category: Addition (completed June 2007)
Chief administrator: Steve Minogue, Vice-President of Support Services, (609) 586-7900
Firm: Ballinger, (215) 446-0900
Design team: Ed Jakmauh, AIA, ACHA, Principal-in-Charge; Eric Swanson, AIA, Design Principal; Don Semler, AIA, Project Designer; Richard Lawless, AIA, Project Architect; Laura Morris, IIDA, Interior Designer
Photography: Ballinger; Tom Crane
Total building area (sq. ft.): 142,000
Construction cost/sq. ft.: $324
Total construction cost (excluding land): $46,000,000
Adding inpatient beds has become the new priority for many hospitals. Early in the planning process, the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton, New Jersey, decided that a bed addition would best be configured as all-private patient rooms. Now becoming a major trend in healthcare architecture, the single-bed configuration greatly enhances the overall patient/family experience, reduces patient privacy concerns and clinical errors, and optimizes bed utilization.
Designing Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital's new addition required the resolution of numerous challenges posed by site constraints, the variety of public and clinical program elements, and the desire to blend a new architectural exterior identity within the context of the existing campus.
In response to these challenges, the new building has a triangular floor plan that will be situated between two existing buildings to maximize the best use of space and to facilitate circulation across the campus. The adjacency of these buildings to one another creates a healing garden in the center. The triangular form of the new bed tower plan also best satisfies the optimal ratio of required patient rooms to core service areas. A new central atrium space creates an interior focus and a direct circulation link from existing facilities to new bed tower spaces. The atrium's orientation provides a dramatic view to a healing garden that acts as a “heart” for the entire campus.
Overall, the project has been designed closely following environmentally sensitive sustainable-design methods, utilizing maximum recycled materials and renewable resources.