The building massing was driven by the client's goal of locating 24 operating rooms with supporting pre- and postop spaces and 20 ICU beds all on one floor. This resulted in a three-story building with a large footprint. Challenges included bringing in daylight, establishing a new main entrance for the entire campus, and creating a simple, direct circulation spine.

Staff efficiency is promoted by a pneumatic tube system linking patient care areas in ICU, ER, and PACU with the clinical lab, blood bank, and pharmacy. The ICU incorporates a decentralized nursing concept with mini nurses’ station alcoves positioned outside each pair of ICU rooms. Glazing between patient rooms and nursing alcoves, as well as between patient rooms, allows continuous observation of patients by nurses. The central nurses’ station has been minimized, holding only the ward clerk, the central monitoring station, medication dispensing units, and procedure carts.

By pulling the north and south halves of the building apart, a series of three-story sky-lit light wells was created that introduces daylight to the entire length of the main east-west circulation path. Groves of bamboo along the first-floor circulation path introduce a calming note. The largest of the light wells forms the main lobby, where visitors are greeted at a new reception counter. With the operating rooms on the top floor, the three clean cores are provided with a series of skylights that allow for ample natural light. The cafeteria opens directly off the main lobby, with views of the landscaped outdoor dining areas. A nondenominational meditation room provides a place for quiet reflection or prayer. The building configuration anticipates incremental expansion.

To support an enhanced security program, building entrance points have been kept to a minimum, creating controlled entrance and egress. A covered walkway outside the ER is equipped with showerheads that can be activated to form a decontamination “tunnel.” To care for victims of biologic agents, one of the ICU pods is configured as a biosafety containment suite, equipped with air locks, changing rooms, decontamination, and sterilization facilities.

Project category: Project in progress (September 2008)

Chief administrator: Thomas Rush, Manager, (916) 734-3811

Firm: Gordon H Chong & Partners, (415) 433-0120

Design team: Louis Kaufman, Associate Partner; John Ruffo, Partner; Tim Hernaez, Project Manager; Roger Snyder, Project Architect (Gordon H Chong & Partners); Paul J. Watson, Principal (Odell Associates, Inc.)

Illustration: Louis Kaufman

Total building area (GSF): 420,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not released

Total cost (excluding land): $150,000,000