Baptist Health Care’s new $650 million healthcare complex opened recently in Pensacola, Fla. Featuring a 10-story, 268-bed hospital, the project “represents the single-largest investment in the healthcare history of northwest Florida,” said Gresham Smith project executive Robert “Skip” Yauger, AIA, LEED AP.
The 602,000-sf Baptist Hospital is equipped with a Level II trauma center that provides 61 exam rooms and three triage areas. Other services include critical care areas, a mother-baby unit, surgery department with 25 procedure and operating rooms, specialty cardiac care treatment and procedure rooms. The building was designed with extra space for future expansion.
The project includes a six-story, 178-000 sf medical services building, the Bear Family Foundation Health Center. This facility houses multi-specialty services including oncology, women’s health, outpatient imaging, bariatrics, and cardiology. It also includes a conference center that will be used for public events, health education, and community outreach. A separate facility, a 72-bed behavioral health unit brings much needed behavioral health services to the community.
“This project to replace our 73-year-old legacy campus with a more modern, technologically advanced and accessible location was a generational opportunity for us,” says Baptist Health Care president and CEO Mark Faulkner. “This campus will raise the bar for health care experiences, safety, quality, and efficiency for generations to come.”
The 57-acre campus is organized around a park-like town square featuring groves of heritage oak trees. Amenities include walking paths, respite areas, and outdoor event spaces. The exterior of each building pays homage to the historical character of Pensacola’s local buildings and celebrates the natural surroundings of the beach community. Warm terracotta and shades of sandy white contrast to mark building entrances. Large spans of glass flood the interior with natural light.
The buildings were designed to be resilient to hurricanes. Durable materials, including precast concrete panels and impact glazing that surpass code minimum, and a hardened building structure and envelope, will withstand hurricane force winds and rain. Redundant electrical supplies and potable water systems will enable the hospital to operate off-grid during an emergency.
The interior of each building takes cues from the exterior design, using handcrafted materials, such as wood, bronze, and terrazzo, to create a warm, welcoming environment. Drawing inspiration from the oaks in the town square, large scale light fixtures reference sunlight streaming through Spanish moss. Planters and full-height windows bring the outdoors inside.
To aid with wayfinding, every patient destination on the first floor is accessible from the primary public concourse, while staff and materials circulation is separated in a secondary circulation system. Reminiscent of light reflecting over the ocean at sunrise or sunset, the color palette shifts colors at each level of the building. Transparent and translucent glass reduce patient anxiety at clinical entries, which are denoted by accent lighting, wood ceiling treatments and large-scale graphics. Lightwells bring daylight deep into the building’s core.