Owensboro (Ky.) Health Regional Hospital
TYPE OF FACILITY Replacement hospital and medical campus
PROJECT ARCHITECT HGA Architects and Engineers
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Turner Construction Co.
COMPLETED June 2013
SIZE 780,000 square feet
CONSTRUCTION COST $290.8 million
COST PER SQUARE FOOT $373
The nearby Ohio River was used as a pattern and organizing element for the flowing design of the Owensboro (Ky.) Health Regional Hospital, which Design Awards judge James Bicak described as an “iconic experience.”
The 145-acre undeveloped site had its challenges. Its industrial neighbors—including a bottling plant, grain elevator and oil pipeline storage facility—did not offer a healing environment. So instead of highlighting the external views, architects designed a series of roof gardens and internal courtyards, planted 1,000 trees and created enough bird and butterfly habitat to become the first hospital to qualify for the Audubon International Signature Program.
In creating a replacement hospital with room for 447 beds, designers were challenged to make the large Owensboro project “approachable,” said Kurt Spiering, healthcare principal with Milwaukee-based HGA Architects and Engineers. Spiering said this was done in part by making the facility easy to navigate for visitors using corridors with exterior views.
For staff, the hospital departments were built with optimal adjacencies, such as having the operating rooms above the emergency department. ORs, catheterization labs and gastrointestinal-procedure rooms all share patient prep and recovery space. Also, in the old facility, nurses had to walk 44 steps to get the supplies and equipment they needed to take into patient rooms. In the new hospital, this has been reduced to 19.
The facility is designed for maximum flexibility. “The core of the building can be repurposed over and over again,” Spiering said. “We anticipate that, with the rate of change in healthcare, buildings won’t stay the same.”