Transforming a community
April 26, 2012 Download PDF
Francis Cauffman completes new critical care building in New Jersey
As part of a master plan to provide better and more accessible healthcare to an underserved community in Paterson, NJ, St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center was transformed when Francis Cauffman completed a new critical care building (CCB), improved circulation and renovated hospital entrances in September 2011. The design team overhauled the community hospital into a 729-bed tertiary medical center and a 120-bed full services children's hospital. The new CCB and entrances are highly visible in the area, providing a place for the community and welcoming patients and families.</p>
Francis Cauffman designed the CCB as two intersecting ellipses rather than a traditional rectangular design often used by healthcare facilities. The circular shape represents an innovative configuration that puts nurses closer to patients. Patient rooms are located along perimeters and nurse stations are situated at the core, giving them direct visual lines to more patients.
At the centre of the ellipses is an internal corridor, which is used by staff while visitors use the corridor connecting patient rooms. This allows staff to work separately and efficiently, providing privacy for patients and families. Additionally, large windows encompass the building and allow natural light to penetrate all areas of the facility, especially the patient rooms. The circular forms are also very flexible. The ellipses intersect, allowing them to function as a single unit or as two smaller units. This flexibility is present in the high-volume emergency department, where LED lighting separates areas for pediatric, adult and geriatric care.
New public entrances bookend the campus for easy access. As a calming light-filled atrium, the entrance to the Children's Hospital serves as the new gateway to the healthcare system. Natural light from the clerestory windows makes the entrance warm and inviting. An interactive LED-lit wall and a custom-designed globe create an environment that both engages children and soothes adults.