Project category: New construction (completed April 2006)

Chief administrator: Laurie Eberst, President, (480) 728-8388

Firm: Moon Mayoras Architects, Inc., (619) 235-9780

Design team: Architect of Record, Moon Mayoras Architects, Inc.; Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Syska Hennessy Group; Interior Design, Brandt Design Group; Medical Equipment and Communications, Gene Burton & Associates; Civil Engineering, Dibble & Associates; Landscape Architecture, Greey Pickett; Food Service Consultant, Systems Design International

Photography: ©

Total building area (sq. ft.): 358,650

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $300

Total construction cost (excluding land): $107,770,000

Mercy Gilbert Medical Center (MGMC) is a four-story, 210-bed, 358,650-sq.-ft acute care hospital located in Gilbert, Arizona, about 30 minutes southeast of Phoenix. It is a vital part of the Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) system, which provides healthcare to the entire East Valley region. As the town's first hospital, MGMC is a source of tremendous pride for both the town itself and for the surrounding communities.

Working closely with the owner and town leaders, the design team was able to garner strong community support for this project. During local design reviews, the Design Review Board noted that this was a great project for Gilbert and should set the design standard for all adjacent development.

The design team drew references from the flavor and historical culture of the local community while planning the hospital. For example, the historical train station, a symbol of pride for Gilbert, inspired the rhythmic vaulting. Stone-faced wainscoting was integrated into the vaulting to provide a comfortable human scale to the four-story inpatient bed towers. The bed towers are configured in an “open arms” configuration to invite patients and visitors into the main hospital entrance. Once inside, they are immediately greeted by a circular rotunda that evokes feelings of comfort, protection, and safety.

The hospital's design incorporates several public waiting areas that can accommodate various levels of family privacy. Unlike most hospitals, MGMC includes a special public/family area at the longitudinal end of each inpatient bed unit. This feature adds an area of respite and infuses the bed-unit corridors with natural light.

An outdoor roof deck is covered by a latticework dome that provides shade during the hot Arizona summer while allowing the roof deck to remain open to the outside. Additionally, the hospital incorporates other sustainable design elements including low water-use plant materials, reclaimed water for irrigation, and energy efficient, indoor environmental-air-quality systems.

MGMC was created to provide a rapid and immediate response to the drastic shortfall of hospital beds in the entire East Valley region. In the interest of timing, MGMC was initially envisioned by the owner to be executed as a site adaptation of another CHW hospital concurrently under design. Although the project ultimately

underwent significant reconfiguration, it was still executed in an exceptionally short 30-month timeframe from initial design through final construction and licensure by the Arizona Department of Health Services.