Designed to meet the surrounding community's growing need for advanced heart care, the new Heart Hospital is one of the most integrated and comprehensive cardiac care facilities in the region. It includes full diagnostic and imaging services, a cardiac catheterization suite, a surgery suite, two floors of private physicians' offices, and inpatient care on three floors. All 96 patient rooms are private and designed for flexibility, even expansion to intensive care capacity. Interior aesthetic choices reflect a relaxed and healing environment, with wood casework and flooring and walls painted in warm natural tones. Specialty amenities, including fireplaces and a café, enhance family inclusion in patient care.

Nursing units are configured in a unique, triple-corridor plan created to reduce noise for the patient and give nurses more time at patient bedsides. In this plan, three parallel corridors run the length of the building, with patient rooms located on the perimeter corridors. The center corridor is designated for public and supply traffic, reducing noise and congestion near patient rooms. Nurses' stations are distributed in pods throughout the unit with appropriate support rooms nearby. This new model reduces travel time for nursing staff by 30% from previous models, allowing more time for patient care.

The nine-story building creates a distinctive identity for the Heart Hospital while connecting to the existing hospital at each level and incorporating a new, expanded Emergency Department. The lobby is enhanced by a three-story glass curtainwall entrance overlooking a natural garden and water feature.

Project category: New construction (completed June 2006)

Chief administrator: Denny DeNarvaez, President & CEO, (314) 569-6182

Firm: Christner, Inc., (314) 725-2927

Design team: John Reeve, Principal-in-Charge; Cindy Siepel, Planner/Programmer; Bob Ducker, Design Principal; John Langholz, Project Architect; Grace Corbin, Interior Designer; Laurel Harrington, Landscape Architect

Photography: © Debbie Franke Photography, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 315,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $317

Total construction cost (excluding land): $100,000,000