The Wisconsin Heart Hospital WAUWATOSA, WI
Project category: New construction (completed January 2004)
Chief administrator: Norma McCutcheon, President, (414) 778-7801
Firm: HDR - Dallas, (972) 960-4106
Design team: Michael Tangney, Project Designer/Planner; Ed Brooks, Project Manager; Vince Ellwood, Landscape/Civil Engineer; Donovan Wattier, Project Architect; Karen Hoffmann, Interior Designer (HDR - Dallas); Mike Doiel, Healthcare Principal (HDR - Chicago)
Photography: © Mark Ballogg, Steinkamp/Ballogg, Chicago
Total building area (sq. ft.): 127,000
Construction cost/sq. ft.: $228
Total construction cost (excluding land): $28,895,000
The overall architectural design projects an uplifting, positive environment, taking traditional philosophies of caring and comfort to new levels and minimizing patient/family stress. This was done by inviting natural light into the facility, easing wayfinding, and using a soothing nature theme by employing natural woods, stones, and cascading waterfalls. Simulating a “Ritz- Carlton” motif defuses the notion of “institutional.”
The building's front façade with its dramatic, up-lit canopy and wing-shaped atrium roof form reinforces the client's goal of providing an outstanding visible image in the community. The long, narrow site imposed several design restrictions. Site conditions dictated two building entries, at each end of the atrium.
To properly respond to a severely sloping site, the building is situated largely two levels above grade, but it has a partial basement for central plant and material-management functions. Outpatient services are located primarily on the first level for easy access to high-volume, noninvasive patient-testing areas.
The second level has surgery suites and 40 inpatient beds. Arranged in “neighborhoods” of 10 beds each, these units are equally spaced around the surgical department core. Each group of beds has dedicated nursing support space, helping to maximize staff efficiency. All patient rooms are designed as universal rooms with ICU capability.
The exterior design responds to the scale of the residential neighborhood by placing the highest elements, the atrium “wings,” in the center of the building, farthest from the houses, while gradually stepping down at the edges.