Trinitas Hospital Elizabeth, NJ
PROJECT CATEGORY Single Space or Feature (completed June 2002)
CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Gary Horah, President and CEO, (908) 994-5000
FIRM Hillier, (609) 452-8888
DESIGN TEAM Jan L. Bishop, AIA, Principal; Russell Swanson, AIA, Senior Associate; Jessica Vuocolo, ASID, Interior Designer; Elizabeth Nelson, Project Architect; Elizabeth Niedzwiecki, AIA
BED CAPACITY 26 exam/treatment spaces
TOTAL BUILDING AREA (SQ. FT.) 10,000
TOTAL LAND AREA N/A
TOTAL COST Not released
Trinitas Hospital represents a consolidation of two major urban hospitals located on three campuses in the economically challenged city of Elizabeth, New Jersey. To develop a cost-effective delivery system to meet the healthcare needs of this predominantly working-class and indigent patient population, the largest hospital campus was to be permanently closed and sold. All acute-care services were consolidated at the St. Elizabeth campus, while psychiatric, subacute and long-term care services were consolidated at the smaller of the Elizabeth General campuses.
Consolidating Emergency Department services was a significant design challenge, because ED visits total more than 72,000 annually and account for more than 60% of hospital admissions, and because in many cases the ED serves as the primary care provider. The new Emergency Department addition was viewed as the new “front door” to the consolidated health system.
The new two-story glass atrium, encircled by a protective canopy, welcomes both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The green-tinted glazing provides a juxtaposition to the existing façade. The use of patterned glazing creates a sense of openness and relationship to the exterior environment from within the two-story waiting area, while providing privacy to ED patients and families at the pedestrian level.
A color scheme for the ED that was neither overly warm nor cool was selected. The use of blue throughout provides soothing relief from the stress of an ED visit and a continuum with the building exterior. The wallcovering motif mimics the patterning of the stucco façade.
All ED treatment rooms are private and designed identically to provide privacy, maximum flexibility and ease of use by staff. The use of clerestory windows on the perimeter allows natural light and views to most treatment rooms and the central nursing core. Private waiting area and exam/treatment rooms for pediatric patients provide appropriate separation from the adult ED population.
The new Emergency Department at Trinitas Hospital has successfully accomplished the consolidation of diverse patient populations into a new state-of-the-art treatment facility that truly provides a new “front door” to the Elizabeth community.