The Suzanne and David Saperstein Critical Care Tower at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles is a replacement for buildings that were severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake and is a key component of the Medical Center's multiphase master plan.

The tower will provide 120 state-of-the-art ICU patient rooms and 30 monitored medical/surgical patient rooms, which will increase both the quality and capacity of inpatient care for the world-renowned hospital. In addition, the building will provide for expansion of the existing trauma/emergency department and the Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center.

The siting and massing of the tower have been carefully considered to be functionally integrated with the operation of the hospital while preserving light, views, and a sense of openness for the existing adjacent patient tower.

Project category: Project in progress (September 2005)

Chief administrator: Thomas Priselac, Chief Executive Officer, (310) 423-3277

Firm: Langdon Wilson, (213) 250-1186

Design team: Asad M. Khan, Managing/Design Partner-in-Charge; Niall Kelly, Project Manager; Vigen Nalbandian, Medical Planner (Langdon Wilson); Gregg Brandow, Structural Engineer (Brandow & Johnston); Robert Lujan, Mechanical/Electrical Engineer (J.L. Hengstler & Associates)

Photography: Eric Koyama

Total building area (sq. ft.): 250,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $400

Total construction cost (excluding land): $100,000,000

Patient care in the Saperstein Critical Care Tower is enhanced by several innovative features. All patient rooms are designed to be identical and are not designed back-to-back or as mirror images. When doctors and staff enter a patient room to provide care, each element and piece of equipment is in a known location, thus preventing wasted time searching on one side of the bed or the other for the necessary item. This approach has been compared to the identical layouts of airplane cockpits. Its successful implementation in the Critical Care Tower has provided challenges in the layout of the floors.