The Center for Advanced Heart Care at the University of Kansas Hospital [Kansas City, KS]
Project category: New construction (completed October 2006)
Chief administrator: Irene M. Cumming, President and CEO, (913) 588-8877
Firm: RTKL Associates, Inc., (214) 468-7701
Design team: Donald R. DeBord, Jr., AIA, NCARB, Principal-in-Charge; Beau Herr, RIBA, Project Designer; H. Alan Sneed, AIA, CSI, NCARB, Project Manager; Patrick F. McCurdy, AIA, Project Architect; Amy E. Thomasson, IIDA, Interior Designer; Marty McIntire, Medical Technology & Equipment Planning
Photography: John Jacobson, RTKL; © Jeffrey Totaro, Esto
Total building area (sq. ft.): 245,000
Construction cost/sq. ft.: $216
Total construction cost (excluding land): $53,000,000
The Center for Advanced Heart Care integrates both visually and structurally with the existing University of Kansas Hospital (KU Med). It connects to the existing hospital via its signature element—a curving, glass-enclosed promenade. Bridges on levels two and three further integrate the two buildings by connecting clinical areas, yet height changes and architectural elements distinguish the new facility, clearly identifying it as a 21st-century, state-of-the-art institution.
The promenade offers comfortably furnished, light-filled waiting areas on the first three levels of the hospital. It extends across a portion of the existing building and encompasses a two-story lobby at the main entry. From this entry space, visitors can look up to the second level and see through transparent walls into a patient resource center. In addition, the promenade promotes the fine art program at KU Med by creating a gallery that can be experienced both inside and out.
A corner tower dubbed The Beacon marks the gateway to the hospital. At night, its lights can be seen from the highway, helping guide patients to the heart center. Within The Beacon are employee lounges with expansive views to the outside that enhance the rejuvenating power of these light-filled spaces.
On the ground floor, the heart center houses KU Med's new emergency department (level 1 trauma center), which provides direct access to the heart hospital. Clinical spaces for cardio, vascular, and thoracic care comprise levels two through five.
The building's infrastructure and its interior spaces support leading-edge technologies that help heart specialists battle cardiovascular disease.
On the patient units, four nurse bases are located at the four corners of the floor, minimizing travel distances to the rooms and making supplies, clean and soiled utility, nourishment, and medication rooms easily accessible. In addition, nurse pods are located between every two rooms. Three separate circulation systems consist of carts and materials traffic in the inner core, a dedicated patient cardio track around the support spaces, and corridor space for physician/nurse traffic immediately outside the patient room.
All patient rooms are private with alcoves furnished to accommodate family overnight visits; eight VIP suites have separate guest rooms. Each patient room also has a nurse zone that encompasses a space at the foot of the bed and the nurse pod outside the room; the area around the bed is the patient zone.