homeWelcome, sign in or click here to subscribe.login




print  email to a friend  reprints add to mydjc  
UW Surgery Pavilion

September 25, 2003

Designing a site for sore eyes

  • Health problems are a fact of life, but architects sought to make trips to the hospital less painful

    glass-paneled west side
    Photo courtesy of UW
    The surgery pavilion’s glass-paneled west side brings an abundance of natural light into its interior space, with views toward a small park and adjacent medical complex.

    From convenient parking to Internet access in spacious, light-filled lobbies, and operating rooms featuring the latest technology, every effort was made to create the ideal patient experience in the University of Washington Surgery Pavilion.

    The goal was to foster operational efficiency as well as an inviting, healing atmosphere for patients, physicians, students and staff.

    The result will provide easier access to the best possible ambulatory care, beginning with punctual appointments and ending with improved privacy and sense of control over one’s environment.

    Located on the University of Washington Medical Center’s last portion of undeveloped land — directly east and next to the hospital — the structure is carefully sited to maximize the building footprint and minimize its visual impact to views of Mount Rainier and adjacent Montlake Boulevard.

    Much of the pavilion sits below grade, and the curved roof nearly disappears behind a buffer of trees along the boulevard. The glass-paneled west side and several skylights bring an abundance of natural light into the interior space, orienting views to Glade Park and the existing hospital, and away from the busy thoroughfare.

    The building’s exterior expression (composed of glass, concrete and a metal roof) reflects the surgery pavilion’s technological advancements. On the interior, daylighting is a constant orientation element, as all circulation occurs on the pavilion’s transparent west side facing Glade Park.

    Streamlining care

    The surgery pavilion consolidates the hospital’s outpatient surgeries to improve and streamline patient care.

    This standalone ambulatory treatment facility creates a technologically advanced “one-stop shop” for outpatient services.

    The three-level facility greatly expands the number and types of surgical procedures the UW Medical Center can offer while allowing flexibility within the existing hospital for future upgrades.

    Adding approximately 150,000 square feet of ambulatory surgery and clinic space, it includes 11 operating rooms, 54 short-stay patient rooms, an endoscopy suite, five new surgery and specialty clinics, and media equipment in several of the operating rooms that promote connections between medical education, research and practice.

    Three levels of underground parking ensure convenience, while a glass-enclosed skybridge links the facility to the rest of the medical complex.

    A separate remodel and expansion project was undertaken to upgrade a 28,000-square-foot area of the central sterile reprocessing and supply distribution center in order to support the increased demand from the surgery pavilion.

    Within the pavilion, state-of-the-art operating rooms, short-stay and pre- and post-operative recovery bedrooms are located on the second level, in alignment with the hospital’s second-level surgery department.

    Clinical specialty departments are located on levels one and three. A small radiology department is included on level three adjacent to the endoscopy suite, which contains five procedure rooms, recovery beds and support spaces.

    The two-story glass-enclosed sky bridge connects the pavilion both to the hospital’s level two surgeries and main-level three circulation corridor. A surgery visitor waiting area was also built along this link, facing Glade Park, with a unique tearoom set above.

    An espresso bar is located on the first floor. The pavilion can be accessed by car from within the new parking garage, and by foot through the hospital, or from a new landscaped terrace that opens at the intersection of Northeast Pacific Street and Montlake Boulevard Northeast.

    Design innovations

    The UW Medical Center required an ambulatory care facility that could serve as a prototype hospital of the future.

    Based on developing a program to provide a congruency of services within the building’s limited space, designers created “universal operating rooms” that are equally equipped to serve the full spectrum of outpatient procedures.

    Regardless of specialization, caregivers can treat patients in the first available space, avoiding complex scheduling issues along with the accompanying loss of time and peace of mind.

    Only the endoscopy suite is dedicated. All other surgeries have “soft” boundaries to accommodate future growth. Accordingly, the distribution systems are designed to be adaptable — organized along a spine in the halls and fed to the clinical and surgery rooms to avoid disruption of these spaces.

    Meeting new needs

    Major changes are occurring in patterns for medical care delivery as more services are provided in an outpatient setting.

    As a result, there is an increasing need for facilities appropriately designed for ambulatory care, as well as for opportunities to teach health-sciences students how to provide care on an ambulatory basis.

    The pavilion will provide integration of care between specialists, between surgical specialties and pre-surgery, and between the clinics and surgical treatment areas.

    The underground parking area will also allow patients to arrive at the facility and travel without delay by elevator to the appropriate treatment area. In turn, patient departures will be equally convenient and discreet.

    Other Stories:

    Email or user name:
    Forgot password? Click here.