The new Hospital for Women and Babies at the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which rises 11 stories high on the southern edge of downtown Orlando, was designed to have a futuristic look. Three interlocking cylindrical-shaped glass towers, a sphere-shaped glass atrium, and a richly textured stone base will welcome “new arrivals” into this urban campus. The 273-bed hospital site across from the existing Arnold Palmer Hospital will expand space for women's and neonatal intensive care services to 400,000 square feet. A highly visible, art-clad, two-level pedestrian connector, creating a dedicated gateway to the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, will link the old and new structures.

The proposed towers integrate large windows for each room, metal panels, and colored mullions for a unique, “Modrian-esque” exterior articulation. The towers wrap around a series of stone vertical shafts, culminating in a mast that becomes the light beacon for the medical complex. Inside, the new hospital exemplifies our creative approach to hospitality-based interiors that serve as healing environments. Warm, stress-reducing colors and textures, natural lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows, soft fabrics, graphics, art pieces in patient rooms, and exterior patios are featured.

Convenient wayfinding graphics, noise controls, attention to privacy and respect, and even celebration rooms where families can gather after the birth of a new baby, create an unparalleled atmosphere of comfort and care. In public areas, large bar-like tables can double as runways for fashion shows, further humanizing the facility. The overall goal is to communicate a sense of well-being.

Clinical functions, operational efficiencies, travel distances, and convenience for the staff are also important elements in the two-dimensional planning of the building. The new hospital's circular design maximizes the efficiency of the layout and creates a patient-centered environment and a compact floor plate. We chose to use the principle of vertical design, organizing all of the hospital's components around a central elevator core. The efficiency of this solution allows an impressive 78% of the building's total space to be dedicated to departmental space, which helps control construction costs. “Cloverleaf pod” nursing units are rotated around the elevator core to reduce the gross floor area and bring travel distances between patient and staff areas to a minimum. These innovations were the outcome of a two-year study we made of maximum-efficiency nursing unit designs.

Project category: Project in Progress (December 2005)

Chief administrator: Kathy Swanson, Executive Director, (321) 841-6078

Firm: Jonathan Bailey Associates, (469) 227-3905

Design team: Jonathan D. Bailey, AIA, NCARB, President and CEO, Director of Design (Jonathan Bailey Associates); Richard Snyder, Principal, MEP/Structural/Civil Engineer (HLM Design); Al McKinney, President, Owner's Representative (Centex Concord); Rocky McMichen, Division Manager, General Contractor (The Robins and Morton Group); Randy Raiman, RLA, ASLA, Landscape Design (Herbert Halback, Inc.)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 339,600

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $196

Total cost (excluding land): $66,561,000