Using the image of a stork delivering a baby as its theme, Tanner Medical Center erected billboards throughout the town of Villa Rica, Georgia, to announce the arrival of its brand-new, 40-bed hospital for the community and its residents.

The “special delivery” announcement was heralded across the area to proclaim that a new, modern hospital was being constructed to replace the original facility built in the 1950s. To establish a foundation for this new structure, Tanner Medical Center—Villa Rica earlier had built an ambulatory surgery center on the site of an adjacent medical office building (MOB).

One requirement of the hospital's new design was to connect it to the existing MOB, thus allowing operating rooms to be directly accessible to the hospital's surgical suite. One challenge the architect faced was portraying the hospital's identity although it would be physically connected to the MOB. A three-story, circular atrium not only served as the hospital's main entrance, but also functioned as a divider of large cantilevered canopies that separated the emergency room from the outpatient clinic, thereby ensuring both entryways were clearly marked and accessible to the public.

Entrances into the hospital escort visitors and patients into spaces invitingly decorated in warm colors—from the carpeting on the floor to the wood paneling on the walls. In the Women's Center, special attention was paid to interior décor to ensure a nurturing environment for patients and their family members by utilizing a deep, rich color palette composed mainly of evergreen, plum, and taupe.

Project category: New construction (completed October 2003)

Chief administrator: Larry Steed, Administrator, (770) 456-3102

Firm: Peacock Architects, (404) 214-5200

Design team: Larry Steed, Administrator; Deborah Lyner, Director of Nursing (Tanner Medical Center—Villa Rica); Herb Sullivan, Director of Facilities Development (Tanner Medical Center); H. Dean Peacock, Managing Principal, Project Designer, Healthcare Planner; Jim Williams, Principal-in-Charge (Peacock Architects)

Photography: © Kieran Reynolds 2003

Total building area (sq. ft.): 84,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $160

Total cost (excluding land): $13,450,000