Everything Speaks Design

Baptist / Wolfson’s New Entry Building / Critical Care Tower speaks to its mission

The entryway to a building is often spoken of as a face—it holds the features that connect to what’s inside, both literally and figuratively, both making an impression and providing access. Baptist Health, Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, and Wolfson Children’s Hospital have a new entryway that is the face of the flagship medical complex. The Baptist Jacksonville entry building is not only a new front door, but will house the Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower, featuring state-of-the-art facilities that expand the existing Neonatal Intensive Care Center (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

“This new building is a gateway to Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and Wolfson Children’s Hospital, seamlessly connecting key buildings of the campus,” says Frank Brooks, architect with Freeman White, the firm tasked with this new design. Brooks states that the tower was built upon the principles of intentional design. Each step through the new building is thoughtfully designed to “provide delight and spiritual support while also supporting wayfinding,” says Brooks. 

Keith Tickell, senior vice president of strategic assets/real estate for Baptist Health, calls the tower an example of a design concept in which “Everything speaks.” What that means, Tickell says, “is that the built environment one creates speaks to an organization’s mission and purpose. For Baptist Health, there is always a level of concern about all elements of the aesthetic and practical environment, and how it impacts a patient’s journey.” Brooks says Baptist and Wolfson Children’s share a desire to “holistically promote healing by addressing the body, mind, and spirit through the integration of advanced medical care, architecture, and art.” While the new entryway physically reorients the medical campus, the values at the core of the exterior and interior design have always been at the heart of Baptist and Wolfson Children’s. 

 “In every new facility we build, we are committed to investing in beauty that can speak to our patients and families and provide a sense of wonderment or peace,” says Tickell. “While we focus on the quality of care, first and foremost, and that will never change, we can’t stop there. There are so many emotions with illness or a potential diagnosis. We are reminded continually by our patients that the reflection or escape art provides makes a difference in their unique journeys.” 

In the new entry building, “the values of hope, excellence, and caring are manifested by a lobby filled with natural light; clean, precise geometries; and carefully considered detailing, punctuated by uplifting paintings and sculptures to delight the human spirit,” shares Brooks. This design approach continues into the Wolfson Children’s Critical Care Tower, where the NICU and PICU patient floors include quiet, light-filled rooms supported by state-of-the-art medical technology. “Art will be placed throughout patient and family areas, as well as at nursing stations, offering beauty and respite to patients, families, and staff alike,” says Brooks.

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Author: Arbus

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