With the overlying goal of creating a friendly new welcoming entry point for visitors to the famous Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Perkins+Will teamed up with artist Spencer Finch to turn part of the massive 1.6-million-square-foot addition’s façade into an artist’s canvas. 

Now the colored curtainwall and brick building, inspired by Claude Monet’s impressionist landscape paintings – combined with a beautifully landscaped entry circle, brick pavers, and gardens – brings visitors to a new, easy-to-navigate front door, leading to the adult and children’s towers, and adult and pediatric emergency departments. 

In the Summer 2012 issue of Healthcare Building Ideas, featured as a special section in the August issue of HEALTHCARE DESIGN, we explore what went into managing what is believed to be the nation’s largest hospital construction project, and the M/E systems designed to make it happen. Check out the article New Patient Towers Serve as Beacon in Baltimore

The new addition hosts 560 patient rooms inside the 12-story Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center tower and the 12-story Sheikh Zayed tower for cardiovascular and critical care. The towers rise up from an eight-story base built on a 5-acre plot of land, and feature 33 state-of-the-art operating rooms, the latest diagnostic imaging equipment and largely expanded pediatric and adult emergency departments. 

One of the project’s most challenging aspects was an overwhelming amount of materials inflation threatening the budget. Consequently, this kept every focused in an effort to keep the project moving along on an expedited schedule in order to make those major building material purchases earlier as opposed to later. 

When it came to the very robust mechanical, electrical and telecom systems required to support all the diagnostics, radiology equipment, operating rooms and more, the engineers went with newer, albeit proven technology. 

“Based on a benchmark, we developed a matrix and quantify to figure out loads and sizing, and eventually fine-tuned it,” explains Kurt Scheeren, P.E., LEED AP, principal, Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, Boston. 

The engineering team also chose to locate the majority of M/E equipment in a consolidated location on a mid-level floor in order to shorten the distances the ducts and pipes had to travel to feed the utility services throughout the addition. 

The entire project itself required 8 million man hours of work to build and took two major contractors to pull it off – Clark Construction and Banks Contracting Company.