Springmill Medical Center is a state-of-the-art, multispecialty medical center that represents the partnership of 12 university-based physician practices with a local developer to create a patient-friendly, staff-inspiring atmosphere. The new satellite home of specialties such as oncology, pulmonary, GI, neurology, ophthalmology, and imaging, this new facility complements the downtown academic campus with a north-side extension modeled as a private practice. It is focused on providing patient care in an upscale setting.

The original 65,000-square-foot structure was designed to accommodate corporate offices for which the design, code, and structural requirements differ greatly from those of a medical office building and surgery center. Careful collaboration with code officials, zoning representatives, and our consultants allowed the design team to create a design solution that satisfied all the regulating agency requirements without compromising the clients’ preferences or the overall building aesthetic.

The original floor plan of the building included several large spaces dedicated to public uses (i.e., entry lobby, circulation, atrium). An updated patient care delivery model—including “Time Share” suites, a business office, and shared support functions—was developed simultaneously with the creation of the floor plan, resulting in seamless integration.

The integration can be seen on the First Floor East, where the Hematology/Oncology, GI, Pulmonary, and Allergy clinics share the original entry hall for a central check-in, waiting room, and business office to support the clinics flanking either side of the hall. Not only do the approach and physical plan support the clients’ delivery model, but they also simplify the patient process, thereby eliminating some of the traditional inconveniences.

Another example of shared space can be seen in the Time Share/Neurology suite located on First Floor North. The front office and patient intake spaces were located to accommodate patients for either “side” of the clinic, but they also will support a single specialty clinic as patient volumes increase. The Surgery Center on Second Floor North incorporates shared resources to support the GI Procedure Rooms and ORs throughout the department. The only separation was made between the clean and the sterile functions, where a combined gross decontamination space is adjoined by a clean processing room on the clean side and a sterile processing room on the sterile side.

Developing a healing environment was a subtle yet important aspect of providing the best patient experience. The large, full-height windows were accentuated in the design wherever possible. Sunlight emphasizes the warm, rich colors and textures of the interior finishes. Translucent resinous panels containing fabric and natural elements were strategically placed to conceal staff work spaces while allowing light to penetrate. Decorative fountains mask check-in conversations while providing a soothing background sound.

Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed July 2003)

Chief administrator: George T. Lukemeyer II, (317) 278-3500

Firm: Synthesis Incorporated, (317) 951-9500

Design team: Jenelle L. Smagala, AIA, Principal, Architecture; Brian A. Mader, Associate AIA, Graduate Architect (Synthesis Incorporated); William R. Stella, Principal, Engineering (Circle Design Group); Jeryl Mitsch, Principal, Interior Design (Hillenbrand Mitsch Design); Dennis Sponsel, President (RJE Business Interiors)

Photography: Dan Francis, MarDan Photography

Total building area (GSF): 65,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $100

Total cost (excluding land): $6,500,000 (excluding equipment)