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The Joint & Spine Center at The Christ Hospital


Competition: Spark:Health
Designer: Brian Lee - Design Partner
Design Type: Hospital and Master Plan
Company / Organization / School: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Team Members: Douglas Voigt, Director, Urban Design & Planning Joan Suchomel, Senior Medical Planner Michael Lingertat, Project Manager Benton Johnson, Senior Structural Engineer Andrew Obendorf, Senior Designer Scott Kadlec, Senior Technical Designer

The 381,000 SF Joint and Spine Center anchors the new master plan for The Christ Hospital campus, located in the historic Mt. Auburn neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. Reinterpreting the symbolism of the existing hospital’s illuminated historic cupola, the JSC maximizes porosity and openness, driving natural light deep into the interior. The core is dematerialized by narrowing its width, transforming traditionally “solid” elements into open spaces that balance transparency and translucency; throughout the hospital, all circulation takes place adjacent to either windows or views. Warm finishes, including light oak and soft whites, augment the softness of the natural light and create a hospitality environment. On patient floors, compact nursing servers placed adjacent to each room replace a central nursing desk. This allows caregivers to play a more active role in patient recovery and keeps the floor quiet by decentralizing activity. In each room, electronic medical and entertainment systems are tucked away to decrease clutter, and flexible seating and tables that can accommodate visitors for both long and short stays. Public spaces look out either on a central courtyard or toward Cincinnati and have been programmed with comfortable furnishings for a variety of experiences, including larger group conversations and private rest.