Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital - Boston
TYPE OF FACILITY Rehabilitation hospital
PROJECT ARCHITECT Perkins & Will
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Walsh Bros.
COMPLETED March 2013
SIZE 378,367 square feet
CONSTRUCTION COST $225 million
COST PER SQUARE FOOT $595
Just after it opened in April 2013, the new Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital was put to the test when 32 survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing received treatment there.
The Partners HealthCare hospital, which also serves as a teaching site for the Harvard Medical School’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, replaced a facility that opened in 1971. Located along the Charles River on the site of a former Navy shipyard, the hospital was awarded LEED Gold certification, the second-highest designation under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
The rehabilitation hospital was built on land that needed extensive rehab itself. Environmental engineering firm Haley & Aldrich told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 that the site had been used as a dump and a storage area for scrap metal, oil, paint and other flammables. The site contained concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, oil, grease and lead. The company reported that 80,000 square yards of contaminated soil were removed. But granite blocks and antique ship timbers were reclaimed and incorporated into the design.
While the hospital takes advantage of the riverfront to offer canoeing and other exercise opportunities, it also has a raised ground floor to protect against flood and rising sea levels. “Their use of open space was fantastic,” raved awards judge Nicholas Tejeda. “They merged form and function to create an environment of physical, mental and spiritual healing.”
The site is part of Boston’s bustling City Harborwalk redevelopment. But there are no other large buildings adjacent to the hospital. Awards judge James Bicak admired how the riverside location offered views of the city while providing separation from the urban environment.
Ralph Johnson, global design director for Chicago-based Perkins & Will architects, said special effort was made to customize the building’s design to take advantage of the “spectacular opportunity” the location offered. “This is not a generic building that could fit anywhere,” Johnson said. “This building would not work on any other site.”