WHR Architects' transformation of JSUMC ensures increased capacity and a holistic healing experience
Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC) opened the doors to its $300 million, 'Transforming Care' project in August 2009. JSUMC’s 433,400 sq ft expanded facilities - a new patient care pavilion featuring 144 all-private rooms, expansion of surgical services, an emergency department / trauma center which can treat 100,000 patients annually, a 975-car parking garage and renovations to existing buildings - provided the foundation for a transformation of the hospital’s approach to patient care.
The voice of JSUMC President, Steve Littleson, set the project on course: "Our project is about growth and improving the entire patient experience, which we will accomplish through evidence-based design, advanced technology, incredible customer service and a responsive environment."
Inspired by his directive, the design team found the perfect metaphor for his transformation in a ship’s sail on the nearby Jersey coastline, harnessing fluctuating winds to guide the vessel home. The design parti is a juxtaposition of three buildings organised around a node. The sail's abstracted spiraling shape became a central organisational node, wayfinding feature and community space, unifying design element that extends and informs the entire project. A naturally inspired material palette and tectonics with curvilinear gestures shape the interior experiences, creating a series of enriching human experiences that aid the holistic healing process.
A committed teaching institution, JSUMC elected to become a Pebble Project. This association provided access to existing research which informed the 12-bed Nursing Neighbourhood (NR) concept. The NR was innovated to address the concerns of aging patients and nurses. Built around the roundtable concept, it improves collaboration and visibility, decreases errors and staff travel distances, leading to comforted patients.
JSUMC is seeking LEED Gold certification, which would make it the USA’s largest hospital with that distinction. The new design expands the hospital's capacity, capability and healing efficacy, evoking their vision of 'Transforming Care' in their community.