CNN ranked Camden, New Jersey, the fourth most dangerous city in the country. When Cooper University Hospital embarked on its first major building project in 29 years, few could have imagined its transformational effect. Called the Pavilion, the facility is the centerpiece of Coopers Urban Initiative.
Towering bamboo, natural materials, natural and indirect lighting create a new first impression for visitors to the hospital. For patients, Cooper believes, the design innovations also aids in recovery. The Pavilion expands the Hospital campus with 90 new private beds, an expanded emergency room, 12 new operating rooms, new Intensive Care Unit, clinical labs, and visitor amenities as well as room for future expansion. The total area of new construction is 297,650 sf and the total area of renovated space is 79,350 sf.
The new Pavilion serves the interests of patients, staff and community. The goals in design were three-fold: urban integration, patient / staff health and safety, and market recognition.
The contemporary design of the 10-story Pavilion positions Cooper University Hospital as a welcoming gateway to the City. Using glass with metal panel accents to convey openness, the design of the Pavilion carries over onto the facades of the adjacent Keleman and Dorrance Buildings. The Pavilion represents the most current and forward thinking concepts in healthcare design:
Planetree Concepts – The design and operations of the Pavilion have utilized the Planetree model which is a patient-centered care model, built around what is best for the patient. The building supports all components of Planetree but in particular creates a welcoming and accessible series of spaces that engage the senses and break down barriers for all.
Evidence Based Design – EwingCole regularly utilizes Evidence-Based design in support of making welcome spaces friendly and warm — a critical element in a healing environment. A number of proven features that support a caring and healing environment have been incorporated: Access to Daylight and Nature; Natural Materials; Concealing Services in Support of a Calming Environment; and Noise Reduction Features.
First Impressions Program – The making of welcoming spaces such as the Atrium, Family Waiting and related spaces utilize warm materials, family-like furniture and access to daylight to create a strong first impression for family and visitors while communicating Coopers position as a national leader in healthcare.
Blending contemporary design with function, the architects intend for the Pavilions atrium to become the town square of the Cooper campus, bringing together visitors and staff by linking all of the University buildings in an active, central location while creating a sense of orientation critical to the patients family.
EwingCole worked closely with Coopers leadership to design a hospitality-like healing environment. When first arriving at the Pavilion, one enters the two-story, healing garden of the main lobby. The atrium is saturated with natural materials, textures and sounds. Providing relief from the city with peace and calmness, the atrium features a public caf, gathering space for community events, and retail store for patients and visitors as well as an extensive display portraying Coopers role in Healthcare and Camdens past, present and future. A Reference Center provides healthcare information, and a nondenominational Meditation Room with counseling services is available.
The sense of walking through a healing garden follows the patient through his or her entire experience continuing to the elevator lobby areas, patient waiting areas, nursing stations, bed floor corridors and patient bed floors. This continuity provides a cohesive image for the institution and a sense of peace and regularity for the patient.
The patient room was developed with Cooper through full scale mockup studies and computer visualization tests. The new patient rooms are private which, experience has shown, is a benefit to the patient and families. Features within patient rooms that support a healing environment include access to daylight and window views of the Delaware River, use of natural materials, family areas for overnight stays, and healthcare-specific carpeting and sound absorption materials within the corridor to reduce noise. Medical needs such as hand washing sinks, receptacles and medical headwalls have been custom-designed to avoid the feel of a typical hospital.