Project category: New construction (completed March 2005)

Chief administrator: Felice Loverso, PhD, President and CEO, (909) 596-7733

Firms: GKK Healthcare, (949) 250-1500; Questar Construction, (949) 250-0060; Montanio Design Group, (805) 522-5662

Design team: Andrew C. Wheeler, Project Principal; David N. Hunt, AIA, Design Principal (GKK Corporation); Jim Salomon, Construction Services Principal (Questar Construction); Sylvia Montanio, Interior Designer (Montanio Design Group)

Photography: Tom Bonner Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 68,420

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $270

Total construction cost (excluding land): $18,500,000

Rehabilitation medicine faces many unique challenges. A hospital built specifically for rehabilitation medicine must address these challenges and turn them into design opportunities. Creating a patient-focused, non-institutional environment for patients and their families was critical to the design philosophy of this facility, as was the use of architecture reflective of California's Mission heritage. To achieve this, the architecture consists of traditional single-story structures that evoke an atmosphere of a hospitality-oriented resort.

This project, a replacement facility for Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation in Pomona, California, enables the hospital to continue its critical role as a leading provider of comprehensive rehabilitation services in Southern California. Located on the existing 20-acre site, the 68,000-sq.-ft. facility includes 68 semiprivate patient rooms, inpatient therapeutic services, and diagnostic and ancillary support areas.

Landscape design was a major element in organizing the site, and it distinguishes the campus from the surrounding environment. A series of gracefully landscaped gardens and courtyards improves wayfinding and brings patients closer to nature and its healing benefits. Centralized courtyards allow natural light into the interior of the facility, serve as prominent landmarks, and provide families and patients with places to gather and rest in privacy.

The circulation is arranged to create distinct zones for patient care, public access, and building service functions. This separation enhances patient privacy, material flow, operational efficiency, and wayfinding. Special consideration was given to patients' physical limitations and maneuverability. Efforts were made to reduce the physical strain on patients by maintaining level sidewalks around the campus and between buildings, and by designing ramps well below the maximum grade permitted by building codes. Also, patient toilets and showers are designed to provide ample space for wheelchairs and caregiver access.

Patient rooms are designed to maximize views of outdoor courtyards for exercise and rehabilitation. Centralized nursing stations in each patient-bed wing have direct visual access to the recreation/day rooms and selected bedrooms earmarked for more intensive patient observation.

The hospitality-oriented design concept is also reflected in the architecture of the adjacent dining room and outdoor dining terrace, recreating an atmosphere of a fine restaurant and enabling patients and family members to enjoy the benefits of the Southern California climate.