Location: Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Construction Manager: Walsh Brothers Incorporated
Area: 378,367 sqft
Photographs: Steinkamp Photography, Anton Grassl/Esto
From the architect. Located on a remediated brownfield parcel in the Charlestown Navy Yard, the building is a newgathering place for the community – dedicating 75 percent of the first floor to public use and integrating withthe Boston HarborWalk. Once part of a timber receiving basin, the landscape design incorporates reclaimed timbers throughout the site and takes full advantage of waterfront views of the Boston skyline. A trail running along the waterfront features therapeutic equipment and offers patients the opportunity to encourage the healing process by performing physical therapy on a variety of different landscaped surfaces.
Tied to the site’s naval yard history, the gray materials of the façade are reminiscent of the military battleships and aircraft carriers berthed at the Yard for much of the 20th century. The scale of the building is visually reduced by dividing the structure into two connected sections – an eight-story patient tower and a three-story therapeutic gymnasium and pool. The building can be viewed from all sides – there is no back. Each section of the divided structure utilizes a variety of materials to create visual interest and reveal a slightly different building from each angle. Glass curtainwall is generously integrated into the design creating transparency and an abundance of natural light throughout the interior resulting in an atmosphere that is open and inviting.
The new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital incorporates inclusive design into every aspect of the facility. Perkins+Will’s design team was dedicated to researching and testing each component of the design so that the building addresses the needs of the widest possible audience, irrespective of ability. The team worked with accessibility experts and conducted extensive research on their own to create a hospital of the future, one that went beyond only meeting ADA requirements. Every aspect of the building design has been considered – the entry is at street level; the reception desk is low and rounded; the patient rooms have custom cabinetry and automated shades, patient lifts, private bathrooms, and amenities such as private refrigerators, sleeping accommodations for family members and a wireless connection for patients and guests. The buildingprogram includes outpatient services, a pool for aquatherapy, two large gymnasiums, an activities-of-daily-living suite, transitional patient apartment, and satellite gyms embedded on two inpatient floors.
“For far too long, rehabilitative care was an afterthought to many, relegated to the basements of hospitals and out of site. This hospital makes a bold statement that a new era of rehabilitative medicine is hereby bringing together scientific innovation and patient-centered design that puts this institution on par with the major centers of healing in the world,” said David Storto, President, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. “It’s truly an honor to lead Spaulding and serve this region with its leaders who have the forethought to understand how vital Spaulding will be for decades to come.”
Led by Perkins+Will’sGlobal Sustainable Healthcare Leader, Robin Guenther, resiliency planning and sustainable design were also a key part of the design process.In response to climate change and probable rising sea levels, the main floor was raised one foot and all of the HVAC equipment was located on the roof. Gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms, and educational rooms utilize automatic operable windows for natural ventilation. Operable windows allow the building to remain operational even if mechanical systems are interrupted. Vegetated roofs mitigate storm water runoff and reduce cooling loads and heat-island effect. Therapeutic terraces on the third and fourth floors serve as places of respite for patients, staff and families. Gardens and views of Boston Harbor provide further uplifting diversions to the occupants. The project has achieved LEED™ Gold certification.