As the first step into serving the surrounding suburban communities, this traditionally urban health system seized the opportunity to redefine its approach to healthcare delivery through the construction of a 46,000-sq.-ft. Outpatient/Wellness Center. From planning to detail, the design engages and evokes the natural world to create a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere in which to provide and receive healthcare services.

The facility provides Imaging, Lab, Breast Health, and Ambulatory Surgery services, along with a series of specialty physician practices (Ophthalmology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, and Family Practice) that form a comprehensive outpatient care center.

The concept was developed with a palette of natural materials and colors. The goal of the interior design was to create a dignified environment that accommodates privacy and promotes healing through close associations with the natural world. Visitors pass through a monumental stone portal into the 8,500-sq.-ft. Central Reception area, where they encounter a waterfall fountain and stone-formed reception desk. Stone columns and wood floors mark a pathway to the naturally lit seating areas adjacent to the Healing Gardens. From the many seating alcoves, patients and family have extensive views of the Healing Gardens and the wetlands beyond.

Along with clinical services, a Patient Education area and Conference Center for up to 100 people provide a full range of community outreach and education programs to serve the community and attract patients to the services offered. Patients and family can enjoy the Cascade Bistro in the Conference Center area.

Project category: New construction (completed March 2005)

Chief administrator: Al Maghazche, PhD, FACHE, President and CEO, (609) 394-6091

Firm: Casaccio Architects, LLC, (610) 789-1604

Design team: Development Management (Anchor Health Properties); Architecture/Interior Design (Casaccio Architects, LLC); MEP Engineering (McHugh Engineering Associates, Inc.); Lighting Design (The Lighting Practice); Furniture and Fixtures (Design Studio, Inc.); Structural Engineering (O'Donnell & Naccarato, Inc.)

Photography: Shaw Taylor; Halkin Architectural Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 46,293

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $216

Total construction cost (excluding land): $10,000,000