Answering the need in a tri-county region, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has begun the first phase of construction of a new medical office building (MOB) and outpatient center in Davie County. Designed by HKS Inc., the 60,000-square-foot MOB is scheduled to be completed by the end of summer in 2013 and the 101,000-square-foot, three-level outpatient building is expected to be completed a few months later in the same year.

Originally anticipated to be 35,000 square feet, the scope of work and size of the MOB was expanded to accommodate the needs of the people in the Davie County, western Forsyth County, and southern Yadkin County areas, according to John McConnell, MD, chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  The project, which had been in planning for several years, will include outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, and an emergency department in the outpatient building among many other features.

The center, to be named Wake Forest Baptist Health – West Campus, is situated on an 88-acre piece of land that will offer patients, visitors, and staff calming scenery. It will feature a modern, open design and make use of the natural landscape that surrounds it to give a park-like environment. “A stream runs through the site creating a protected wetland. We used this as an opportunity to incorporate a natural garden feature within the project. By strategically placing each building on the site the stream will meander between the footprint of the MOB and the outpatient building, creating a focal point and visual connection to nature while providing natural light into the facilities,” says Charles (Chuck) Auerbach, AIA,  vice president, HKS Inc.

Landscape architecture and civil engineering services for the project will be provided by Stimmel Associates, PA.

The connector between the two buildings features an entrance lobby and will provide ease of orientation for patients and visitors. The welcoming and open feel of the design will unify both the exterior and interior spaces of both structures.

“Early in the process, the design team—consisting of the Wake Forest Baptist Health project team and HKS designers—established the project’s design concept of ‘weaving together the people, place and purpose.’ This translated into using regional materials that reflect the concept of integrating the Wake Forest Baptist Health – West Campus into the community. This was reinforced by a layered weaving of the family of building components and further emphasized by varying materials and the texture of these elements,” Auerbach says.

Leach Wallace Associates, a consulting engineering firm, will work alongside HKS Inc. and Summit Healthcare Group will provide development services for the MOB as well as developing nearby tracts of land for a parcel of commercial mixed-use buildings. The area will be named River Hill Commons.

Phase two of the project is slated to be completed in 2017. “The world of healthcare is dynamic and buildings have to respond by providing flexibility to adapt as programs change and departments grow or shrink. This outpatient building is the first phase of a project that will ultimately contain hospital beds. Both the site plan and the building have to accommodate the addition while maintaining flexibility for possible program changes in the interim,” says Auerbach.