Project category: Addition (completed March 2005)

Chief administrator: Mark Schaefer, Executive Director, (407) 351-8500

Firm: HHCP Architects, (407) 875-2722

Design team: Charles S. Braun, FAIA, Managing Partner; William Jordan, AIA, Designer; Greg Pace, Project Manager; Wayne Richard, AIA, Project Coordinator

Photography: Raymond Martinot

Total building area (sq. ft.): 39,000 (new); 5,300 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not released

Total construction cost (excluding land): Not released

This addition to Orlando Regional Healthcare Sand Lake Hospital doubled the size of its existing department and expanded the level of service to its patients. The hospital is unique, in that a significant number of its emergency department (ED) patients are tourists and conventioneers visiting Central Florida. In 2004, the facility had more than 72,000 ED visits, averaging more than 200 per day. The owners' goal was for the new department to reflect the colorful and inviting atmosphere of nearby theme parks while maintaining privacy and providing the latest medical innovations for its patients and their families.

The 39,000-square-foot ED addition includes an 8,000-square-foot dedicated ambulance canopy, 44 private rooms, an oversized 13-station fast-track unit, a dedicated digital imaging suite, and a six-bay observation unit. The hospital's lobby, classrooms, and registration areas were also renovated as part of the project.

The design intent, accomplished through the use of entertaining forms and dynamic colors, was to deinstitutionalize the facility to offset the stress of visiting the hospital and/or ED. The pediatric waiting area is a playful space that provides colorful distractions to help younger patients and visitors feel comfortable and less intimidated by their visit. A curved glass-block wall provides privacy to the main waiting area while bringing in natural light, color, and movement from outside. And the efficient fast-track unit significantly reduces wait times for patients with non-life-threatening medical needs.