Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed September 2004)

Chief administrator: Debra Johnson, Executive Director of Acute Care, (616) 687-1402

Firm: The S/L/A/M Collaborative, (860) 659-1010

Design team: James McManus, FAIA, Principal-in-Charge; Steven Doherty, AIA, Project Manager; Douglas Mayne, AIA, Designer; Christopher Conrad, PE, Structural Engineer; Kyle Slocum, ASLA, Landscape Architect; Karrie Frasca-Beaulieu, IIDA, Interior Designer

Photography: © Woodruff/Brown Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 36,900 (new); 67,000 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $173 (new and renovation combined)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $18,000,000 (new and renovation combined)

Typical of many small community hospitals, Lakeland Hospital, Niles, had grown over the years into an amalgamation of additions of various vintages, types, and sizes. Over time, the hospital became more complex and less coherent, both functionally and aesthetically, resulting in an outmoded facility that was struggling to support the healthcare delivery goals of a great staff and causing patients to consider looking outside the community for quality service.

Rather than designing yet another “self-contained” building addition that would only add to the complexity of the overall facility, crowd an already small site, and benefit only the portion of the existing facility it abutted, the design team developed a concept of smaller, strategically placed additions. These additions were able to efficiently add space where needed without disturbing the positive aspects of existing departmental adjacencies. By being relatively narrow, the additions also preserved valuable surface parking. Most importantly, these distributed additions generated a much greater overall impact, both outside and inside the facility. With the existing buildings serving as a background, the new additions were used to redefine the foreground along much of the exposed perimeter of the campus, creating a much more welcoming presence.

Inside, the effects of the new additions and companion renovations are widespread, in many areas and on different floors. Not only were the various departments able to expand and modernize, but there also was the opportunity to strengthen and clarify the corridor system that connects them, consequently blurring the line between new and existing. This strategy yielded the most from the existing facility and “spread the wealth” of the project resources at hand.