When HEALTHCARE DESIGN recently took a short drive to Marymount Hospital, a Cleveland Clinic facility, I had a small nagging feeling as I stood in the parking lot. Having driven past the hospital many times, I just couldn’t seem to remember exactly what the front of the building had looked like a few years ago before the construction began. Yet it still felt familiar. It was still the community hospital that I was used to seeing.

The most striking thing I remember from those years ago is a large statue of the Virgin Mary at the front of the building and an arcing gradient to the front door. It was certainly majestic. But I had a hard time remembering the actual building.

Located in Garfield Heights, Ohio, Marymount is a full-service, acute care community hospital founded in the 1940s by the Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis. As the only faith-based hospital in the Cleveland Clinic Health System, Marymount serves a community that has close ties with the hospital.

Recently, the hospital undertook a surgery expansion and renovation that would expand and update the facility. The new three-story building has many features including:

  • seven new 600-square-foot operating rooms (OR) and a hybrid OR of 750 square feet (900 with control room);
  • a reskinned and updated cafeteria;
  • an integral therapy room to give patients a more holistic experience;
  • fritted glass on the second and third floors to provide shaded light, privacy, and a view outside;
  • a new sterile processing area with a wall of windows for natural light;
  • ORs that have at least one non-touch monitor as part of the OR Integration system;
  • wide, daylight-filled corridors for front stage circulation by patients, visitors, and staff; and
  • new pre- and post-operative rooms.

The new structure’s eye-catching glass wall continues the design vision that ties together the facilities in the health system. The glass in the entrance area lets in an abundance of light with a clarity that can be especially appreciated on a sunny day in Ohio. Since it is low iron glass, colors are not distorted and the tint that sometimes creeps into standard glass is erased.  

Bostwick Design Partnership, conscious of the health system’s image and branding, knew that the public identified strongly with the Virgin Mary statue and the faith-based care at the hospital. Although the statue will be relocated onsite it will still be highly visible, offering people the familiarity they are accustomed to. “Marymount Hospital wanted the facility to be a beacon in a storm for the community,” says Mike Zambo, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, principal, Bostwick Design Partnership.

Marymount Hospital’s new front door is a new direction in design against the backdrop of the older brick structures but the care mission remains the same. It seems that by bringing the community and staff onboard to gather what they want in a hospital, has made for a smooth transition to get the hospital modernized.

I’m certain that as I drive past the hospital in the future it will be a structure that I won’t easily forget. It is a building with presence.

For more coverage of the tour, look for Todd Hutlock’s coverage of the hospital visit.