With inpatient and outpatient visits on the rise, Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin’s new Center for Advanced Care needed to maximize efficiency and expandability while simultaneously supporting cutting-edge medicine and reflecting the brand.
Housing specialty clinics dispersed across campus, including a Heart and Vascular Center and a Transplant Center, the building accommodates up to 12 floors above grade with clinics that utilize a universal exam room for maximum adaptability. The building is connected to the campus’ other main buildings on the second floor, providing a critical link between the campus facilities. Building on the corporate campus aesthetic, the design of the Center for Advanced Care emulates the successful aspects of previous projects while cultivating energy that is uniquely its own and responding to its unique site.
The Center for Advanced Care ultimately provides the clinical space for Froedtert to begin renovating existing operating rooms and consolidating them into one area of the hospital, facilitating greater operational efficiency. Our collaboration with Froedtert, Medical College of Wisconsin, CannonDesign, Mortenson Construction, numerous consultants, and the larger community led to successful consensus building, cost efficiencies, and economies of scale. The project’s original scope consisted of five floors above grade, with the structural ability to accommodate seven additional floors. As the project evolved, the construction of four additional floors was added to the project’s scope. The design and construction teams accommodated this significant change without adding extra time to the duration of the construction.
Integrating a new building into an existing hospital campus can pose challenges. To address this, we collaborated with Froedtert’s wayfinding team to establish a robust wayfinding experience, ensuring a seamless navigation process when incorporating the addition.. The journey for visitors starts at the parking structure, where visual and audio elements serve as effective wayfinding aids. Each floor of the parking structure showcases distinctive visual art and plays music through the speakers, helping visitors identify their parked floor based on its unique appearance and sounds. Inside the hospital, floors are color-coded, providing clear cues to visitors about their location within the facility.
The Center for Advanced Care’s energized verticality and sculptural aesthetic alludes to the cutting-edge nature of the work taking place inside. Working with CannonDesign, we brought energy into the public spaces by repeating color and shape, using vertical architectural elements, and developing a split waiting area concept. The split waiting area brings patients, staff, and visitors closer to the windows to take advantage of the views or use a more private space that offers a sense of respite. While these elements give the building a distinct identity from the neighboring Clinical Cancer Center, the generous use of glazing creates a reflection of the nearby woods and ponds, unifying the buildings as part of one campus connected to the local environment. The thoughtful application of system-wide interior material and finish standards and a universal exam room position Froedtert to quickly adjust to future changes.