Precast Facade Enhances Medical Campus Renewal
The redevelopment of this New Jersey hospital campus was designed to provide the institution with a new cutting-edge facility to support its high-quality care and reinforce its place as one of the leading providers in the region. This comprehensive project includes a new 124,000 square foot, five-story ambulatory services building including a new entrance lobby atrium that connects to a new 600 space parking garage. For this first major update since the campus was originally built in 1960, the Southern New Jersey hospital selected architectural precast as a key design element for this new signature campus expansion.
The design creates a new central atrium lobby hub and entrance for the entire campus and functions as a "hinge", connecting the old tower, the new ambulatory facility, and eventually a future tower. Bathed with natural light, the lobby design reflects a place of hope and support offering a cafe, gift shop and community amenities with extensive views to the newly landscaped campus. The atrium connects an array of health care services, including physician practices, outpatient surgery, physical, occupational and speech rehabilitation services, a sleep and balance center, and a hyperbaric wound care center. This project is the first phase of a campus revitalization plan with the lobby designed to connect to the second phase, a new patient tower with all-private rooms with completion expected in 2020.
The building's exterior concave form invites people into the new atrium space, drawn in by the arcing drop off canopy.
The exterior skin utilizes precast concrete, stone and glass curtain wall to project a contemporary leading-edge sensibility. The glass surface is intermixed with travertine stone and wood look panels as the curved solid form of the elevator core flows into the expansive precast façade of the new ambulatory facility.
A New Image Reflecting High-Quality Care
The design and client team chose architectural precast to project the new image for care represented by the new ambulatory facility. Horizontal strips of windows which wrap around the building are framed in buff-colored horizontal precast spandrels with a varied ashlar stone-like pattern. Made with custom formliner, the panels have an organic texture that creates subtle variations of light and shadow throughout the day. The spandrels alternate between two heights with the windows shifting upward and downward to add visual modulation to the facade. At the ground level base, black thin brick precast panels with black concrete mortar joints contrast with the buff color above, introducing a second texture with a relatable pedestrian scale.
The varying ashlar projections in the spandrel panels were developed and managed by the coordination of the designer and the precaster. Each panel had 24 sections made up of 12 patterns each that were randomly applied. The movement of the patterns addressed the designer's goal of achieving shadow effects that would not have the appearance of repetition. The thin black brick has variations and imperfections that reinforces the impression of hand-laid brick. The use of light and dark contrast, varying textures, and visual figure/ground effect give the fagade a dynamic visual effect that achieves the client's goals to communicate a new image reflecting a state-of-the-art healing environment.