Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed February 2003)

Chief administrator: Raymond Minicus, COO and VP, (212) 979-4302

Firm: Lothrop Associates Architects, (914) 741-1115

Design team: Lynne Marchak Rizk, Medical Planner, Project Manager (Lothrop Associates Architects); Matthew DelPozzo, Mechanical Engineer; Michael Bensh, Electrical Engineer (Edwards and Zuck); Etao Salcedo, Structural Engineer (The Cantor Seinuk Group, Inc.); Salvatore M. Coppola, Vice-President (John F. Davie Construction Corp.)

Photography: ©2003 Walter Dufresne, Photographer

Total building area (GSF): 9,600

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $312

Total cost (excluding land): $3,000,000 (construction); $1,100,000 (equipment)

The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, the oldest specialty hospital in the country, is the Designated Eye Trauma Center for New York City. The Retina Center was last renovated more than 30 years ago. A clinical, sterile environment and infrastructure did not accommodate increased patient volume and current technology. The client wanted a state-of-the-art center to welcome and comfort patients and support staff efficiency. To avoid disrupting existing operations, relocation to a former inpatient floor was the solution.

Warm cherry wood, classic metal accents, elegant floor patterns, decorative fixtures, and wall sconces provided a calming atmosphere and a sense of confidence. Efficient “pods” include Exam Rooms and a Subwaiting Area for patients and families. An internal Consult Area is located between pods so physicians and staff do not pass through patient waiting areas.

Subwaiting Areas, strategically located along window walls, provide outside views and diffused light, with window treatment essential to eye patients. Therefore, ceilings in the Subwaiting rooms are vaulted, allowing indirect lighting. Exam functions are located internally, providing almost total darkness. Lower ceilings in the Exam Core accommodate mechanical systems.

All Exam Rooms have flat-screen computers networked digitally and connected to all physician offices and other treatment areas.

Special program features include carrels for residents, which include state-of-the-art digital imaging for viewing model cases and research on the Internet; a Diabetic Kitchen to meet the needs of the majority of patients; a Pediatric Play Area; Educational Video Centers within each Subwaiting Area; and HIPAA-compliant Intake and Discharge Areas.

Through excellence in architecture and design, the renovated facility provides increased patient comfort, confidence, and convenience, as well as improved staff efficiency. It also attracts higher-level medical specialists.