SOM's new hospital & pavillion takes its form from the Vescia Pisces
The new Katz Women's Hospital and Zuckerberg Pavilion at North Shore LIJ creates an entry and arrival sequence for the North Shore LIJ's 48-acre medical campus. Fitting into a tight site previously characterised by organic growth, the 300,000-sq-ft building serves a unifying and organising purpose and acts as a new 'front door' for entire North Shore LIJ health system.
The new building contains two distinct programmatic elements that are stacked vertically above each other: The Katz Women's Hospital and the Zuckerberg Pavilion, each with its own dedicated entrance and lobby. The building provides a home for North Shore LIJ's progressive model for comprehensive women's health and allows LIJ to place a new focus on women's health and birthing.
Adjacent to the Zuckerberg Pavilion entrance - and separated from it at grade by a chapel that unites the two lobbies as a central dramatic element - the Women's Hospital consists of four floors containing 88 patient rooms, along with diagnostic and treatment services, labor and delivery rooms, ante and postpartum care, neo-natal stabilisation, C-Section operation suites, and newborn nurseries. A Women's Resource Center is on the ground floor.
The geometry of the building is based on the ancient 'Vesica Pisces', a fertility symbol derived from overlapping circles. This creates two convex surfaces - one facing the entrance to the medical centre, the other facing the existing building - and results in the gently curving arc throughout the building, which helps ameliorate the endless corridor so common in hospital buildings. The result is more privacy and a less institutional feel. Gentle wayfinding and signage lead to daylit family spaces at the ends of each corridor. A metaphor of Arcadian rebirth runs through the effort, organising the hospital campus around the axis of the esplanade that runs through the building.
This emphasis on comfort and well-being is evident in every aspect of the new building. The single-occupancy birthing suites allow for overnight stays of the new fathers; large family lounges provide space for extended family. All the rooms are notable for their light, views and airiness, which underscore the natural beauty of the birthing process. The design team synthesised input from the hospital's diverse user community into a hospitality based interior scheme, designed to provide the most comfortable and therapeutic environment possible.