After joining Community Health Systems’ (CHS; Franklin, Tenn.) regional Northwest Health network, La Porte Hospital received funding to replace its outdated, undersized, and operationally inefficient facility. CHS wanted the new facility to align stylistically with the color palette, materials, and form of other facilities within its network while also providing an updated, modern tone. The new hospital’s exterior and interior palettes will serve as the basis of design for the health system’s future projects.

The four-story Northwest Health – La Porte’s clean, modern façade does just that by marrying traditional brick with modern metal panels and large expanses of glass.

Inside, the two-story lobby features decorative stained-glass panels that the design team relocated from the former facility for an accent wall behind the monumental stair, which leads to a shared waiting room on the second floor and registration areas. Large windows stacked in the corner of the elevator lobbies and waiting rooms maximize views of the surrounding area and orient visitors back toward the city.

The $88 million project houses 84 private inpatient rooms. To improve care efficiencies, each floor has multiple nurses’ stations as well as separate observation stations outside patient rooms in the intensive care unit (ICU). The hospital also features separate circulation for staff; dedicated elevators for materials, equipment and food service; and a dedicated elevator for patient transport to surgery, the ICU, labor and delivery, and the rooftop helipad.

In addition to inpatient services, the new 200,000-square-foot acute care hospital houses emergency , outpatient surgery, cardiovascular, critical care, orthopedic, and birthing and family care services.

Project Details:

Facility name: Northwest Health – La Porte

Location: La Porte, Ind.

Completion date: October 2020

Owner: Community Health Systems Inc.

Total building area: 200,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: $88 million

Cost/sq. ft.: $440/sq. ft.

Architecture firm: Gresham Smith

Interior design: Gresham Smith

General contractor: Robins & Morton

Engineering: Gresham Smith (structural), I.C. Thomasson Associates Inc. (MEP), RQAW Corporation (civil)

Builder: Robins & Morton