Project category: Remodel/renovation

Chief administrator: Mr. Robert Guimento, COO

Firm: EwingCole,

Design team: Jim Wolters, AIA, principal; Mary Frazier, AIA, LEED AP, green belt, principal/planner; Lyudmyla Matyushko, interior designer; Michael Hunton, RA, project architect; Michael Hoak, associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C, designer; Carl A. Speroff, IV, lighting designer

Photography: Halkin/Mason Photography, LLC

Total building area (sq. ft.): 2,300

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $869

Total construction cost (excluding land): $2 million

Completed: November 2015

The Birth Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital re-defines the natural birth experience in an inpatient healthcare facility located in a dense urban setting. The collaboration between the Hospital administration, the Birth Center staff, and the design team resulted in a unique solution for both the expecting mother and her family.

Each birth room is designed to provide families with a home-like birth experience. Midwives assist the mothers with natural childbirth, with an attending physician and C-Section OR on standby if needed. The new mother and baby will feel comfortable knowing that the nursing and medical staff is ready to assist in all phases of the birthing process.

One of the unique design features is a full-size bed rather than a hospital bed, allowing a partner to share the bed to facilitate massage, coaching, and rest during labor hours. The bed was custom built for this project. A hot tub is conveniently located near the bed for the mothers’ comfort during the labor process, thoughtfully detailed with tiled walls and niches for personal effects. Additional amenities include comfortable reclining armchairs, a birthing hammock, birthing wedges, wireless internet, and a writable magnetic glass wall at the foot of the bed.

The materials and finishes used in the Birth Center complete the home-like atmosphere. Coupled with their durability and cleanability, the warm wood tones and earth-toned sheet flooring imply a connection to nature and create a soft character for the suite. The bathroom and shower are fully tiled and feature a contemporary design aesthetic including the sliding barn door with exposed industrial hardware. All lighting fixtures in the suite are dimmable and allow personalized control of the environment and the ability to create a home-like ambience.

The overall room atmosphere is enhanced by the abundance of natural light and views of the Lower Manhattan skyline through the generous windows in each of the rooms. The LMH Birth Center has been open since November 2015.