Project category: New construction (completed November 2011)

Chief Administrator: Larry DiSanto, COO, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, (609) 394-4254

Firm: HKS, Inc., (214) 969-5599; Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions, (610) 270-0599; Anchor Health Properties, (302) 655-1010

Design team: Dan Noble, FAIA, FACHA, LEED AP, Architect of Record and Design Architect (HKS, Inc.); Sherri Bowman, Associate Architect and Interior Designer (Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions); Paula Crowley, Owner's Representative (Anchor Health Properties); James Burnett, FASLA, Landscape Architect (Office of James Burnett); David Moreno, PE, MEP Engineers (AKF Group, LLC); Bill Sahwell, Construction Manager (Skanska USA Building, Inc.)

Photography: © Blake Marvin, HKS, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 925,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $346

Total construction cost (excluding land): $392,000,000

The overall vision for the Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell, New Jersey is to take the current hospitality trend in healthcare and push it to new heights. The project motto, “I can’t believe it’s a hospital,” was derived from an intense series of visioning meetings at the beginning of the project. From programming through the design process and into construction, this motto has been the ongoing mantra of the entire design team.

A core component of the early programming and conceptual stacking was for the various centers of excellence to have a direct, horizontal connection to the physician’s offices within the MOB supporting those centers. The design resolution for this component is the creation of a soaring five-story atrium in a beautiful, energetic and organic design solution, more akin to a hotel setting. Inpatient and outpatient services are integrated, maintaining the efficiency of a combined location with the finish, flexibility and speed associated with freestanding outpatient settings. This is achieved with a central diagnostic and treatment chassis spanning from the inpatient bed unit on one side and the outpatient mall/MOB on the other side, allowing inpatients and outpatients to access the departments without co-mingling in a common waiting area. The emergency department, operating suite, mechanical space and inpatient beds are located and configured to expand independently of each other, providing the hospital maximum future flexibility. This allows the hospital to react to changing healthcare trends quickly.

The building was carefully and strategically situated on the 165-acre site to take full advantage of the natural terrain, views and existing wetlands. The entrance to the facility is through a gently meandering drive nestled against an existing wetlands stream with a very large, mature canopy of native trees. The soaring, curved atrium serves as the clear indicator for the main entrance. 

The six-story, 570,000-square-foot replacement hospital and integrated 330,000-square-foot MOB provide a full range of state-of-the-art medical services. It is the first phase of a projected three-phase, 500-bed master plan. All patient rooms are planned to be private, ADA accessible and encompass the same-handed design philosophy. Only isolation and bariatric rooms are identified as other than typical patient room configurations – isolation rooms have specialized exhaust requirements and the bariatric rooms are configured with overhead, ceiling-mounted lifts. Additional mobile bariatric lifts allows the hospital staff maximum flexibility and efficiency in aligning patient needs with appropriate staff. All patient rooms have an inboard patient bathroom/shower located alongside the patient headwall, fostering better patient safety going to and from the patient bathroom as well as providing maximum exterior window opportunity. Large exterior windows boast spectacular scenic views and maximize natural light which have been shown to improve overall recovery and reduce patient length of stay.

In addition to the separation of inpatient and outpatient circulation patterns, the facility is organized around separate staff and service circulation. Public/visitors enter at the first level of the main entrance atrium, while service vehicles enter at the garden level via the loading dock. The public experience of the garden level is through the lowest level of the atrium with the food service component, supported by indoor and outdoor dining. The outdoor dining features a large stone water wall, creating a soothing environment. Staff transporting patients on stretchers utilizes elevators located discreetly from the public elevators. Services delivering clean supplies and food utilize assigned elevators also discreetly located from the public. Trash and soiled linen are removed using a pneumatic trash and linen system which keeps the soiled collection away from public viewing. 

Familiar, regional materials blend the comfortable, warm, inviting facility with the progressive, modern form of the building. Multiple gardens surrounding the facility and their integration into the natural landscape give the building a sense of belonging in its environment. The facility blends the history of Capital Health System, the comfort of a hospitality setting as well as the complex, high-tech aspect of modern medical care.