Keeping up with growth is one thing. Staying ahead of it is another. But the most critical challenge facing Memorial Medical Center, a not-for-profit community hospital, was strategically addressing all that growth entails—growth in its market, its medical program and consumers' expectations for amenities.

PROJECT CATEGORY Project in Progress (March 2005)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR David Benn, President and CEO, (209) 572-7134

FIRM Gordon H Chong & Partners, (415) 433-0120

DESIGN TEAM Tim L. Heiman, SE (KPFF Consulting Engineers); Roy A. Galli, Principal (Horizon Engineering); Ray Palmer, ME (Stecher-Ainsworth-Miner); Rebecca Boulter, PE (Mazzetti & Associates); Pat O'Brien, Principal (Patricia O'Brien Landscape Architecture)

RENDERINGS Robert Becker





All too often, hospitals suffer growing pains when the demands of patient care and construction clash. We are working closely with our client, Memorial Hospitals Association, to allow aggressive expansion in advance of demand while continuously improving the experience of patients and staff.

As the millennium approached, Memorial commissioned our firm to produce a comprehensive master plan integrating growth with an equally pressing challenge—compliance with regulations dating to 1968 for seismically upgrading existing facilities.

The North Tower addition is the core of the master plan's first phase. Throughout its ongoing design we have carefully reconciled Memorial's keen knowledge of its community with the broader institutional trends advocated by its network partner, Sutter Health. The project's key attributes include:

Efficiency—The addition will satisfy short-term demands for medical-surgery facilities (which are currently outmoded and at their physical threshold). The design also anticipates the space needs of continued growth, minimizing disruption of patient care. The nursing units will respond to the optimal ratio of 28 beds per unit with a layout that maximizes access


Light and life—Landscaping is integral, not an accessory, to the design. Ample glazing will bring the outside into public areas and patient rooms, an environment made possible by sensitive design of floor layouts and mechanical systems.

Sense of place—The North Tower forms a new campus entrance that will be easier to access from the street grid than the current entrance. Surgery admissions will be separated for the first time from emergency and labor/delivery. The intuitive wayfinding enabled by the profusion of large windows will reduce signage volume. Surgery patients will be able to exit directly to a parking garage rather than moving through the lobby.

Flexibility—The tower will add 112 beds, with a capacity for 112 more. These will accommodate 10 more high-growth years, plus provide the capacity to handle turnover from the remodel of the existing hospital. Interior architecture also provides flexibility within units.

Privacy and dignity—The new tower will substantially increase the number of private beds. Patients being transferred to and from surgery will not share or cross public corridors.