Project category: Project in progress (July 2015)

Chief administrator: Deborah Hayes, VP & Chief Hospital Officer/CNO, (513) 585-0557

Firm: SOM Ohio LLC, (312) 554-9090

Design team: Local Associate (Champlin Architecture); MEP/Fire Protection Engineering Consultant (Fosdick & Hilmer)

Photography: SOM Ohio LLC

Total building area (sq. ft.): 386,600 (new); 58,800 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not available

Total construction cost (excluding land): Not available

The Christ Hospital (TCH) in Cincinnati, OH is a 555-bed acute care hospital, recognized as the leader in adult care in Greater Cincinnati, and ranked among the top 50 hospitals in the country. At 1.5 million square feet, the institution was outgrowing its Mt. Auburn campus. The team developed a master plan that identifies growth needs; prioritizes sites for future expansion; aligns the campus to create the best patient, physician and staff experience; and differentiates TCH in the marketplace. Initial projects include new streets and entries, a parking garage, relocation of the materials handling operations, central utility plant improvements, a new public circulation concourse and the 251,500 SF Orthopaedic and Spine Center (OSC).

The OSC is organized as a bed tower above a diagnostic and treatment podium The tower contains 60 beds; a shelled floor will allow for an additional future 30 beds. The podium contains 12 operating rooms, surgery prep and recovery, a pain center, imaging, preadmission testing, rehabilitation, service line administration, satellite food service and central sterile processing, all dedicated to the OSC service line. A three story public circulation concourse connects the new podium to the existing hospital, while providing a materials movement highway on the lower level.  A new public circulation loop was created linking the various existing hospital wings, the new OSC and the Parking Garage. Landscape spaces provide respite and aid wayfinding; in addition to the landscape court along the loop, the building mechanical penthouse was located at the middle of the building to allow for a roof top garden. A contemporary architectural vocabulary was created by reinterpreting the red brick character of the hospital’s existing buildings in a contemporary manner that respects the Cincinnati’s historic Mt. Auburn neighborhood. The asymmetric façade continues a theme of light established by the iconic cupola.

The patient unit is designed around a structure of light. Patient rooms maximize light and views to promote recovery. The core is dematerialized by narrowing its width, eliminating the central nurse station and transforming traditionally “solid” elements into open, transparent/translucent areas. This results in better visibility, enhanced caregiving by keeping nurses closer to patients, and increased staff morale by bringing natural light into the center of the unit. Every part of the design promotes a tranquil and therapeutic environment. Warm, sustainable materials, including wood finishes, create a comfortable place for patients, visitors, and staff. The OSC is designed to meet LEED for Healthcare certification.