A new nine-story patient tower at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, Fla. is complete and open to the public. Designed by Gresham, Smith and Partners, the 300,000-square-foot tower features a new main entrance and lobby, characterized by open, airy spaces, terrazzo flooring and clean, modern finishes. Skanska USA Building served as the general contractor of the project.
“Sarasota Memorial Hospital wanted to provide a modern, comfortable healing environment for their patients, and they were also eager to address difficulties that had naturally arisen within an aging facility,” explained GS&P Principal Matt Harrell, AIA, ACHA, LEED AP. “Our team spent a lot of time working with hospital administrators and with the public to identify strategies that would provide maximum value and fulfill the needs of patients, staff and administrators alike.”
Wayfinding was a top priority for the new tower, as patients and visitors had difficulty navigating the previous facility. The new entrance and lobby open to a central feature courtyard, which serves as a strong orienting point. The courtyard incorporates native landscaping, seating and water features to provide a soothing respite for patients, visitors and staff.
Inside the new tower, designers carefully planned departmental adjacencies to simplify and improve wayfinding and encourage efficiency among the different units. In addition to internal wayfinding enhancements, designers completely reconceived the facility’s entry, reconfiguring drives, parking and patient drop-off and pick-up to relieve traffic congestion and improve the overall arrival experience. The new tower program also includes a labor, delivery and recovery unit, neonatal intensive care unit, dedicated mother/baby postpartum floor, medical/surgical units and admissions and pre-admission testing areas.
“I am excited for our patients to experience the new accommodations, which represent a major step in our continual efforts to provide the best possible healthcare environment for the Sarasota region,” explained Gwen MacKenzie, CEO, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. “We were committed to working closely with the public throughout this entire project, and to bringing in various members of the community to monitor progress, voice concerns and brainstorm solutions. I believe the result is something that everyone can be proud of.”