The geometry of the Great Plains and natural materials bring hospitality to new community medical center
This new community hospital on the Great Plains has been designed as a welcoming healing environment that connotes hospitality rather than hospital. From arrival, through the public spaces, to the privacy of a patient room, visitors, staff and patients experience the atmosphere of an upscale hotel. A transparent entrance connects public areas, providing a communal space to unify this full-service 100-bed community hospital. Inside, abundant daylight, views to nature, hotel-like furniture and finishes, textiles with a floral motif and soft lighting combine to create a comfortable rather than clinical environment.
Images of stacked stone walls, farm houses and creeks are abstracted and translated into a winding, two-storey water feature cascading through the lobby. The building is composed of simple, vernacular rectilinear shapes in natural materials such as stone and glass that tie it to the surrounding landscape, and to a series of gardens that continue the healing process outside. Two horizontal slabs of ipe wood and zinc cladding float above an anchoring limestone base. Bands of glass fenestration reinforce the horizontal massing, echoing the horizon of the plains beyond.
Patient rooms reflect the design principles established, incorporating prairie grass motifs, rich wood grain textures, and open views to surroundings that include cornfields. Strong horizontal lines are repeated in the casework design, while native materials such as rounded river stones adorn patient room entryways. Reduced energy consumption and water conservation make this hospital 20% more energy efficient than a conventional one and have helped it achieve LEED certification for sustainability.