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Four Seasons of Hospitals

San Diego

What's one of the biggest trends in hospitals? (Hint: It's in the word.) An example is Coronado's new Healthy Living Center, a spa-like destination that Pacific Building Group has completed at Sharp Coronado Hospital.

Director of medical services Hollis Gentry tells us that making the hospital atmosphere more like hospitality is consistent with an increasing number of Pacific Building's healthcare projects. Lots of different textures, wood looks, and a connection to nature are just what the doctor ordered. He says the hospital's leadership was looking to brand the space as an amenity. It's a trend that, along with perks like valet parking, is geared toward delivering a more comfortable experience to the patient. The 8,000 SF facility for Coronado residents as well as Sharp HealthCare members throughout San Diego serves as part of Sharp's post-surgical physical rehab program.

A water feature at the entry gives the center its own identity and a transition from the hospital into a rich, warm space. According to Hollis, water features are a touchy subject in hospitals due to concerns over water-borne bacterial infections. Not to worry--the project team found a water feature manufacturer that uses a patented UV technology to kill germs, and studies support its effectiveness. Other spa-like touches come from the interior design--finishes like wood floors and ceiling, and decorative lighting and fixtures. The holistic center contains rooms for yoga and tai-chi, acupuncture, massage therapy, a sauna, and a dance floor with a balance bar.

To create the Healthy Living Center, an existing Motion Center was remodeled into a state-of-the-art wellness facility that Hollis says is also aretail element for the hospital, providing a different atmosphere from a gym. He notes this is one of the few Planetree-designated hospitals in the region, and experts in the patient-centered philosophy reviewed the design and construction. The center is a JV with the City of Coronado. San Diego-based Pacific Building teamed with architect Richard Yen & Associates for the design/build project. Healthcare is one of the GC's specialties--it's working on projects at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and several Scripps hospitals.