Characterized by its curved glass façade, the new patient tower at Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), is more than just a new facility helping consolidate women’s services for the health system. The 300,000-square-foot building has helped reorganize and renew the 48-acre LIJ medical campus.
The tower contains two distinct programmatic elements stacked vertically above each other: The Katz Women’s Hospital and the Zuckerberg Pavilion, each with its own dedicated entrance and lobbies. The Zuckerberg Pavilion, in fact, functions as the new entry point for the entire North Shore LIJ Hospital, providing a modern facelift for the campus that elegantly reflects the theme of rebirth.
SOM Design Partner Mustafa K. Abadan, FAIA, and Paul Whitson, AIA, director of the firm’s Health+Science practice, as well as Senior VP for Facilities Services at North Shore LIJ Health System Maurice LaBonne, spoke to HEALTHCARE DESIGN Senior Editor Todd Hutlock about the project.
Driving the design
Mustafa K. Abadan, FAIA: North Shore Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System has been growing steadily, and has been purchasing other hospitals around Long Island, even branching out into Manhattan and beyond. That growth pattern obviously led to a lot of service duplications between the facilities. Part of successfully managing this growth is to successfully consolidate certain services. This was the impetus behind the Katz Women’s Hospital and Zuckerberg Pavilion project.
The facility literally sits on the border of New York City and Nassau County, but the hospital is technically in Queens. So it is ideally located to serve both the urban and suburban communities surrounding it. The hospital itself was built in incremental fashion, starting in the 1940s, and added to organically over the years.
Maurice LaBonne: This building creates a new front door not only for Long Island Jewish Hospital, but for the entire LIJ Medical Center. The LIJ Medical Center campus is comprised of three facilities in addition to the new Katz Women’s Hospital and the Zuckerberg Pavilion building: Long Island Jewish Hospital, the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, and the Zucker Hillside Hospital, which is a behavioral health facility.
Our vision for this project was twofold. One goal was to create a new home in what is among the largest obstetrical programs in the state. The program was housed in a 1960s era building, which was far behind the times as far as physical design and amenities. The idea was to provide state-of-art facilities to match the state-of-the-art medical care that was being provided there.
The second goal was to create a new image for the overall campus and a new front door for LIJ Hospital. We have made significant upgrades and investments all over campus, and we wanted to present a new “public face” for those improvements. We wanted to make a statement with this building, and create a new image for this institution.
Paul Whitson, AIA: I actually came to this project about halfway through the design process; what had started with initial planning in 2006 had risen to a fever pitch when I joined in 2009. One of the first tasks I was given was to work with the users on the full-scale mockups we had built of a typical LDR patient room, an antepartum, and a postpartum patient room with a section of corridor and a satellite nurses’ station, which was located outside of the rooms.
I had to roleplay the activity in the room with the doctors, nurses, and other facility representatives to make sure we had designed things the right way. It was a fairly intense process; we brought in all of the constituents, basically.
The information systems became a large part of this design. As you know, the robust nature of the information systems is a big component in making a modern hospital successful. This became a key element of the patient room design, and it is not something that is communicated well on paper or in a BIM model. These systems really need to be worked out in the field, and so this process of acting things out was very important.