Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) has started construction on their 1.4 million-square-foot master plan for The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Demolition will commence on the existing parking garage at the south end of the hospital complex in order to clear the way for the new Orthopedic and Spine Center (OSC). The contemporary 332,000 square-foot building draws on the predominantly red brick character of the existing buildings and surrounding historic Mt. Auburn neighborhood, while providing a new public face on the south side of the hospital. SOM strives to achieve LEED certification after completion in mid-2015. Continue after the break to learn more.
A massive “lantern” window highlights The Christ Hospital’s iconic cupola while providing stunning downtown views for the new patient rooms. The designs intends to enhance the patient and visitor experience by promoting a “tranquil and therapeutic environment”, as natural light floods the corridors and every patient room and the interiors are finished with warm materials such as wood.
A new, naturally-lit concourse along the east side of the complex will seamlessly link the OSC with the renovated, historic entrance to the hospital. Unseen, but vital, components of the master plan are new underground services along the east side of the complex that will connect the upgraded central utilities plant with the OSC Tower in a way that will enable future additions and renovations to the complex without disruption to vital building services.
The seven-story building (plus one below-grade level) includes facilities for imaging and surgery (with 10 new operating rooms and space to add two additional operating rooms) on the lower floors. The third floor (dubbed Level 1) includes public facilities and is part of a new interior circulation path that connects all the hospital’s buildings on a single level. A roof garden is incorporated into the OSC building on this level to provide a private outdoor respite for the building’s users. Non-public mechanical spaces are located on Level 2 while Level 3 provides raw space for future expansion of patient beds. The upper floors—Levels 4 and 5—have a total of 60 new private patient rooms and their attendant services. Another roof garden is accessible atop the structure.
“It’s hard to design something as programmatically complex as The Christ Hospital in a simple way,” SOM Managing Partner Richard Tomlinson II, FAIA, says. “But our arrangement of spaces clarifies optimal routes throughout the entire hospital, creating gracious and elegant spaces that promote healing by their calming influence.” The master plan treats the complex like a campus. Beyond the OSC building, other master plan improvements include street reconfiguration, a new entrance, parking garage and central utility plant.