The hospital's unique design creates a hard, protective outer shell and an inner atrium that allows for daylighting and garden views. Its precast walls are concrete panels that are eight inches thick — versus a traditional building skin of five to six inches. Hospital windows are manufactured to withstand 150 mile-per-hour winds, successfully impact tested at a lab with an air cannon that shot a two-inch by four-inch piece of lumber traveling 80 feet per second at the glass. To avoid flooding, the hospital is built 9.5 feet above sea level, about two feet higher than the roads leading to the facility.
In addition to being safe, the hospital is one of the most aesthetically pleasing in the area. The main rotunda is designed to complement the building's traditional vernacular and provide a positive experience for guests with its terrazzo flooring, curved walls, wood tones and inspiring natural light.
A circular pattern on the rotunda floor and ceiling mirror each other to provide balance within the space. Circles are repeated throughout the space to indicate points of interest, ranging from the entry rotunda to the waiting areas to the nursing stations.
“Passing through the main rotunda, guests are greeted by a modern, yet warm welcome area, furthering Homestead Hospital's mission of improving and promoting compassionate healthcare,” said Travis Sheets, interior designer, HKS, Inc. “Next to the welcome area are six, wing-walled registration spaces which offers privacy without the intimidating confinement of a closed space. Geometric floor patterns provide intuitive wayfinding from the rotunda, through the central atrium, to the main elevator.”
Soothing colors, natural light, tropical flowers, and large open spaces work to refute the stereotype that hospitals are cold, intimidating, and confusing.
“The main rotunda's grand stair and balconies invites guests to explore the atrium space by foot as an alternative to taking the elevator,” said Sheets. “Artwork, including local photography with a south Florida flair, is located throughout the facility — with the central gallery located on the second floor amongst the tree-lined private waiting areas.”
Continuity and harmony are achieved throughout the hospital — from the main rotunda to acute care patient areas to the intensive care unit. “Familiar, oceanic colors and artwork niches provide an inviting entry to the labor delivery recovery unit,” said Noble. The intensive care unit, with its circular collaboration teaming areas and private family areas, offers the latest in high-tech care in a compassionate, healing environment. Private patient rooms boast natural light, built-in armoires, granite-style work areas, and inspiring artwork.”