To provide ever-better diagnostics for both patients and physicians, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla committed to provide a new 1.5T-magnet, 64-slice CT and PET/CT for its radiology department. A feasibility study determined placing these new pieces of equipment in the hospital would be cost prohibitive.

Because approximately 75% of the scans were performed on outpatients, the requirement to house the new equipment in the hospital

became unnecessary. The solution was to build a freestanding imaging center adjacent to the hospital’s imaging department. Not only did a new facility eliminate costly hospital upgrades, but it could be built less expensively.

Attention to the quality of the building’s architecture, environment, and future flexibility were not compromised despite it being designed as a fast-track project. The new facility was built around the concept of the Gingko tree, known for its medicinal qualities. The design reflects the natural materials, colors, and movement of these dramatic trees.

Apart from its beauty, the building needed to function efficiently to allow for maximum patient visits. Shared control rooms and generous patient-prep areas allow staff to keep the machines’ utilization rates at a maximum.

Imaging departments are held hostage by the constant advancements of technology. This new facility was designed to accommodate change. All scan rooms can be closed separately to allow for equipment replacement while allowing the center to remain operational. The building’s design also allows for the easy addition of one future imaging suite.

Project category: New construction (completed January 2007)

Chief administrator: Gary G. Fybel, Chief Executive, (858) 626-6102

Firms: Childs Mascari Warner Architects, (619) 814-0080; Riopelle Development Company, (760) 439-6344

Design team: Douglas S. Childs, AIA, ACHA, Design Architect/Site Architect-of-Record, Principal-in-Charge, Designer; Carrie Van Eyck, Design Architect/Site Architect-of-Record, Planner, Interior Design (Childs Mascari Warner Architects); Tim Riopelle, Architect-of-Record, Principal-in-Charge (Riopelle Development Company); Donald E. Kimper, PE, Site Electrical and Plumbing Engineer, Principal-in-Charge (Syska Hennessy Group, Inc.); Steve Rohy, SE, Site Structural Engineer, Principal-in-Charge (Wiseman + Rohy); Michael Peltz, ASLA, Landscape Architects, Principal-in-Charge (MW Peltz + Associates)

Photography: Mascari Warner Architects

Total building area (sq. ft.): 4,900

Construction cost/sq. ft.: Not Released

Total construction cost (excluding land): Not Released