Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., is building a $250 million expansion, totaling 241,000 square feet of new construction and 29,000 square feet of renovated space, to better respond to changes within the healthcare industry. Occupancy is expected in 2017.

The expansion will create a welcoming new front door while enhancing the quality of patient care and positioning the hospital to attract the best doctors.

Saint Barnabas is home to a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) that leads the nation in survival rate for low birth-weight babies, has New Jersey’s only burn center, and includes one of the largest kidney transplant programs in the nation. Designed by architecture firm Francis Cauffman, the addition will improve patient recovery and facilitate staff interaction in one of the busiest hospitals in the state.

Without increasing the number of beds, the addition will improve the patient and staff experience with expansive spaces, more efficient circulation, and a brand-new NICU.

The light and transparent façade of the five-story addition is set at an angle to the existing masonry complex. At the hinge of this V-shaped structure is a structurally glazed, double-height lobby that’s the heart and front door of the addition. This clear and welcoming arrival point is defined by curvilinear forms, views of nature, and colorful accents.

Various contemporary furniture options allow visitors choice over their environment, thus reducing stress. A cantilevered stair leads to a glass-fronted mezzanine. The existing lobby will be repurposed for swift and clear discharge functions.

The new wing uses an all-private room model, increasing the hospital’s number of private rooms but not the number of patients. Guest seating encourages visitors to linger, and in-room food ordering is available.

The NICU will be completely replaced. Its square footage has been expanded threefold in order to comply with current guidelines for spatial clearances while accommodating both private rooms and semiprivate pods that will provide quality space for NICU families while integrating the latest technology.

Francis Cauffman designed the circulation patterns to create efficient connections that make the various zones of the hospital more accessible and functional. Colorful new wayfinding and visual cues will be deployed throughout the facility.

The parking lot and new 141,000 square foot garage are sited to ensure a safer trip to the building, particularly for those with limited accessibility.