Prebys Cardiovascular Institute opened on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., in November 2014 and began admitting patients in March 2015.

The $456-million, seven-story facility features 108 inpatient beds in private rooms, 59 intensive care beds, six operating rooms including hybrid operating rooms, and three advanced technology cardiac catheterization labs with space to add three more.

The design team from HOK’s Los Angeles office worked with clinicians, administrative leaders, and support staff throughout the planning, design, and construction process.

To test design ideas, the team implemented a mock-up program by putting a modular building setting on one of the parking areas. The space featured key rooms at full scale, including operating rooms, patient rooms, and nurses’ stations. Users tested all aspects of the design including finishes, equipment, clearances, furniture, and furnishings.

The feedback informed the final design, which features a flexible layout to create an environment that embodies the hospital’s mission and accommodates its plan for growth.

Form and function come together throughout the new facility. For example, floor plates are designed to bring nurses closer to patients, and floor-to-ceiling windows bring in abundant natural light and views to patient rooms. A three-tiered wireless infrastructure provides clinicians with connectivity and flexibility.

One of the challenges was connecting the new facility to the existing traditional campus design. The heart care center successfully links to the existing buildings at the ground plane, in the building form, and in the use of familiar campus materials. The interior follows that lead to create an inviting environment that’s inspired by the light, color, and textures of the surrounding natural landscape.

The new Prebys Cardiovascular Institute is the initial phase of the hospital’s 25-year master plan, which sets out to transform the La Jolla campus.

Alicia Wachtel is a project director at HOK.