Opening of new medical center at Mission Bay

Writer
Graduate Division

As advertised on the building during construction, the new Medical Center at Mission Bay achieved a timely opening on February 1, after more than 10 years of planning and construction. Perhaps even more impressive than opening on time, the construction finished under budget.

These goals were achieved under the direction of Director of Design and Construction, Stuart Eckblad, who early on integrated contractors and designers to limit risk and save time. “[Achieving our deadlines] was due to the fantastic efforts and talents of the team we were able to pull together,”said the Executive Director of the Mission Bay Hospitals Project, Cindy Lima.

The center includes 3 new hospitals—Benioff Children’s Hospital, Bakar Cancer Hospital, and Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital – with a total of 289 beds. The center expects to serve 122,000 outpatients and perform around 10,000 surgeries in the first year. But even beyond its medical capabilities, it is state-of-the-art in all aspects—from its eco-friendly design to its fleet of 25 robots that deliver food, linens, medications, and specimens, saving employees a total of 220 deliveries per day.

Notably, designers of the hospital gave careful thought to create a medical experience that is both world class and comfortable for the patient.

Imaging suites were designed in collaboration with GE and Philips to ease patients’ anxieties. In the children’s hospital, they are presented as adventures– from a cable car ride to sailing in the bay – while adult imaging suites come equipped with calming imagery like sunsets and clouds. Rooms are also arranged with the patient in mind. In the children’s hospital, rooms have extendable sofas for overnight stays of family members and a large flat-screen TV, both for entertainment, and to allow patients to join their home classrooms via Skype.

Aesthetically, the new medical center features high ceilings, large windows to allow in natural light, and 60,000 square feet of rooftop gardens. Art is also built into the hospitals’ design, accounting for 1 percent of the budget, incorporated as etched leaves and branches in a meditation room in the Women’s Hospital to a 22-foot tall sculpture in the lobby of the Children’s Hospital. In total, the center features 10 major commissioned artworks as well as an array of contributions from patients.

As Lima said, “People say that is the one most fantastic thing we did better than anyone. I see it as we exponentially set a benchmark because all these things came together so well.”