Type of facility: Emergency medicine facilityClient: Washington (D.C) Hospital CenterProject architects: HKS Dallas;Pickard Chilton, New Haven, Conn.Manager: N/A Completed: N/ASize: 500,000 gross square feetCost: $250 million (estimate)Cost per square foot: $500
Contest judge Michael Poitras vividly remembers seeing barges and ferries carrying the wounded from Manhattan to New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001. "Every hospital was scrambling todeal with 9/11," he says. He believes that a hospital such as Washington Hospital Center's proposed ER One-an emergency room specifically designed to address large-scale disasters-would help alleviate the chaos of trying to care for thousands of injured people.ER One, developed in 1999 at Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center,could, in theory, accommodate thousands of patients in one day. The eight-story, 500,000-square-foot trauma center was designed withports of entry for multiple ambulances, cars and buses at ground level,and roof space for several helicopters to land. For people in the immediate area of disaster, who likely would be emotionally traumatized, ER One has self-directed entrances that make it easier for a patient to check in and get immediate assistance. In the event ofa biological attack or epidemic, "intelligent screening devices" would instantly identify a person likely to be carrying an infectious disease and begin a decontamination process in a sealed area. Movable walls in the wards give doctors space, privacy and a level of quarantine for patients.Recognizing the facility's vulnerability, the architects designed ER One with steel and earthen beams and blast- and impact-resistant walls. Its hublike design would minimize the possibility of the entire hospital being rendered useless if the facility were damaged in some way.