Medication superhighway

James Forryan
Tuesday 28 Apr 2009

Perkins+Will completes new Portland hospital

Completed in July 2006, Kohler Pavilion extends Oregon Health & Science University's existing South Hospital sited atop Marquam Hill. Form and mass create a gateway leading into the campus and act as a backdrop for views from the Willamette River waterfront below. A 75' terrain drop from north to south across the site allowed the concealment of a 450-car parking garage into the hill, below a reconstructed street. A stone clad 4-story D+T symbolic “mountain” base houses new ORs and entries; an 11-story bed tower resolves the inherent contextual duality. South elevations introduce coveted natural daylight and provide dramatic views through a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall; north walls, articulated with punched windows in campus brick and stone, face the existing campus. Cascading landscaped roof decks provide intimate healing gardens and public view terraces. The Pavilion integrates a 9th floor campus-wide “pedestrian superhighway” which links campus patient care and research zones and incorporates a new aerial tram terminus.

One of the primary healthcare providers in the region, OHSU Hospital needed additional patient bed capacity and surgery capacity. Key project goals were to improve overall circulation for public and patients and to improve overall effectiveness of nurses, physicians and staff. Circulation and patient access were enhanced through a new, attached parking structure with a gracious landscaped entry court and a connection to the 9th floor public “superhighway”. Staff effectiveness is enhanced through consolidation of services, simplified circulation, enhanced daylighting, and programmatic adjacencies that reduce travel time. In addition, spaces for families and staff with magnificent mountain views provide respite and calming influences.

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United States

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