The Wuesthoff Medical Center was planned to represent a new model of integrated healthcare. This facility combines a 120-bed inpatient facility with an extensive outpatient diagnostic and treatment center and an integral medical office building. The diagnostic and treatment services are grouped around an atrium, comprising the hospital's focus, centralizing admitting services, and providing excellent wayfinding. The goal of the design was to improve ease of access for the hospital's growing outpatient services.

The emergency department is a key component of the diagnostic and treatment space. Designed to accommodate 35,000 visits per year, the ED was considered a “second front door” to this new hospital. Thus, the design of this space features a prominent entrance and a variety of family amenities. The “emergent” area features universal treatment areas, with flexible partitions and ceiling-mounted support columns. To improve patient access, the walk-in area is located conveniently close to parking and to the imaging and laboratory spaces. The diagnostic center includes invasive and noninvasive imaging, cardiology and nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, a women's diagnostic center, and ambulatory surgery.

The lobby defines the concept of the building and provides a soothing, hospitality-type entrance to the facility. Use of materials is understated but elegant, with a contemporary edge. The architects and designers generously used color to define and locate each particular area and provide wayfinding. The departments are connected by corridors that coordinate with the units with a more muted color palette and gracefully tie into the lobby entrance and waiting areas.

One of the design goals set forth by the client was to create a space with a fresh Florida look in color, content, and sophistication, unique to a healthcare environment.

Project category: New construction (completed October 2002)

Chief administrator: Richard Kolleda, CEO, (321) 636-2211

Firm: MGE Architects, (305) 444-0413

Design team: Jose L. Estevez, AIA, NCARB, Principal-in-Charge; Rolando Conesa, AIA, NCARB, Design Principal; Rick Hernandez, Project Designer; Maggie Binimelis, Interior Designer; William Reed, RA, Construction Administrator

Photography: George Cott

Total building area (GSF): 125,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $184

Total cost (excluding land): $23,000,000