Type of facility: HospitalClient: Banner HealthProject architects: NBBJ, SeattleConstructionManager: DPR Construction, Phoenix Completed: January 2005Size: 451,896 gross square feetCost: $91.5 millionCost per square foot: $201
When most people envision the desert, they think of scorching temperatures, dryness and general discomfort. Banner Estrella Medical Center in Phoenix, however, incorporates some of the desert's most striking elements into a hospital that blends technology, comfort and the surrounding environment. "It's an elegantly conceived project,"says judge Peter Ellis about the167-bed hospital, which uses the sun to create simple reflections of time and space through numerous glass ceilings and walls. Judges also felt that Banner Estrella's rock gardens and reflecting pools added spirituality. Shades of copper, clay red, light brown and cool green in the hospital's general spaces mirror the colors of Arizona's canyons and mesas, lending to the overall desert theme. Banner Estrella was designed to make expansion easier. Even before the nearly 452,000-square-foot hospital was completed in January, administrators had a 20-year growth plan that will accommodate another 433 beds at the existing building. The expansion plan will be efficient because of Banner Estrella's advanced information-technology system,which includes computerized physician order-entry systems, a high-speed Internet connection and interactive touch screens for ordering food. The "central nervous system" for this technology is arranged along an interconnecting hallway, or "spine," from which the hospital can expand without moving office buildings or the physical plant. In short, says Scott Rawlings, who chaired the panel of judges, "It's the closest thing to the hospital of the future."