Surgical Tower

Location:  Syracuse, NY

Completed:  August 2014

Program:  Operating Rooms, PACU, Intensive Care Unit, Medical Inpatient Unit

Construction Type:  Addition

SustainabilityLEED Certified

Awards:  2014 AIACNY Architecture Award of Merit

The St. Joseph’s Hospital Surgical Tower project began as a campus wide Master Plan concentrating on two growing hospital specialties, the Emergency Department and Surgical Services.  To maintain uninterrupted hospital operations during construction, the project was broken into two major stages, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) building and the Surgical Tower.  Upon completion of the Emergency Medical Services building, the second stage of the project went into construction. This included a new surgical suite with state of the art Operating Rooms, a PACU/Pre-Induction Area, a dedicated two-story surgical waiting room, and a surgical tower above containing an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and two floors of Medical/Surgical inpatient units.

The qualities of the existing campus and surrounding site were major influences in the building design.  With the tower spanning two urban blocks, the intersection of Prospect Avenue and East Laurel Street provided an ideal location for the elevator core within the building and is expressed as a recognizable vertical element on the north façade that can be seen from great distances.  The addition also utilizes a terracotta rain screen and masonry cladding that complements with the materials and colors of the surround north-side neighborhood.

The project interior focuses on strategies that improve patient comfort, visibility and accessibility while bringing patients and caregivers closer together.  Central to the design is a spacious two-story surgical waiting room that provides a comfortable atmosphere for patient’s families and guest.   The space blurs the relationship between inside and outside by incorporating an outdoor accessible balcony, a full height curtain wall, lampposts and a whimsical tessellated ceiling which references the coverage of tree canopies.  The inpatient units of the tower were designed using a “Patient Centered Model of Care”. All inpatient rooms have sizable windows and are located along the perimeter of the building.  The rooms are large enough to incorporate amenities for family members, the patient, and the caregiver. Medication and supplies are delivered to the patient room in the corridor through the nurse server to help reduce interruptions to the room.  Clinicians then access the server inside the room eliminating the need to leave the patient in search of supplies.