Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed November 2004)

Chief administrator: Arthur Ushijima, President and CEO, (808) 547-4688

Firm: Pacific Asia Design Group, Inc., (808) 595-6600

Design team: Ann N. Matsunami, AIA, Principal; Lorrie Dalton, Interior Designer (Pacific Asia Design Group, Inc.); Jeannie Hosaka, Project Manager; Lindsey Carry, Project Lead; Women's Health Center Physician Advisory Group, Physician Champions (The Queen's Medical Center)

Photography: ©2005 Rothenborg Pacific; Pacific Asia Design Group, Inc. (before photos)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 9,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $144

Total construction cost (excluding land): $1,300,000

In 1859 King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma founded The Queen's Medical Center (originally The Queen's Hospital), “to stay the wasting hand that is destroying our population.” Their bold vision built an institution that continues to fulfill this mission. Today, The Queen's Medical Center is a 505-bed, tertiary care, Level II Trauma Center, the largest private healthcare facility in Hawaii.

In 2001 women's health was identified as a significant strategic opportunity for the medical center. Acknowledging feelings of discomfort, frustration, and embarrassment in traveling from diagnostic services to interventional procedures, surgeons rallied to create a center with a single point of access.

A comprehensive and integrative center staffed by women's health experts was the ultimate goal. The Women's Health Center opened its doors in November 2004. It provides diagnostic and treatment services, consultation and support, physical therapy, and complementary alternatives.

Surveys showed women want a warm and inviting healing environment. To provide centralized services and easy access, the medical center was remodeled to showcase the 9,000-square-foot Women's Health Center within the main lobby. This was in stark contrast to the fragmented previous locales throughout the 10-acre campus.

A multidisciplinary team collaborated to create a supportive, technologically advanced, and ergonomically efficient environment from admission to discharge. Arrivals step onto a beautiful garden pathway surrounded by lush tropical foliage leading into a lobby filled with natural light, large windows, and vaulted ceilings. The lobby design incorporates koa furniture and flooring inlaid with floral garlands. Glass doors etched with Hawaiian fern greet women upon entry.

To create a healing and therapeutic environment for all women, special consideration was given to comfort, safety, and privacy. The waiting area promotes relaxation with generous seating, soft lighting, artwork, and music. Information on women's issues and an education and exercise classroom are nearby.

Private seating alcoves and artwork along hallways provide relief and bring patients closer to dressing rooms and services. Separate corridors improve flow while decreasing traffic in shared hallways.

Renovating portions of the original 1922 building resulted in creative opportunities. Constraints included low ceilings, infrastructure support requirements, and varying floor elevations.

The Women's Health Center was built during the renovation of the main lobby and front lot, which led to a successful unity in design for all components. Ongoing communication among project teams was invaluable in meeting time lines and budgets.