Gresham Smith’s Landmark Solution, UP Health System – Marquette, Completed

July 22, 2019

Gresham Smith announces the completion of the new UP Health System – Marquette campus, which includes a 525,000-square-foot, full-service hospital, 90,000-square-foot medical office building and parking structure. This project is part of the largest brownfield redevelopment undertaken in Michigan. The hospital’s design helps to optimize operations, enhance the patient experience and incorporates unique elements to help address the challenging climate of the Upper Peninsula (UP).

“Through the process of designing a brand new facility, we thoroughly evaluated the hospital’s care delivery methods and overall operations to see where we could create greater efficiencies,” said Victor Giovanetti, FACHE, executive vice president, hospital operations at LifePoint Health. “Gresham Smith partnered with us to create a beautiful facility that our employees are not only proud to work in, but it will also help ensure that we are better able to meet the healthcare needs of the community for generations to come.”

“We were proud to work with Marquette and LifePoint Health to bring the vision for this facility to life and wanted our design to reflect the technologically advanced care being provided,” said Greg Gore, AIA, project executive and senior architect at Gresham Smith. “In the UP, there is snow on the ground over 68 days out of the year. That not only adds additional loads to the building’s mechanical systems, but it also presents some complexities when it comes to patient flow. Our solution was shaped by and for the community—it helps support clinicians, staff and patients and builds value for the city.”

Given the climate, most visitors, staff and patients enter through the parking structure at the end of the building. The design team crafted a strong sense of entry both for the front façade and the entry through the garage while optimizing wayfinding. A two-story concourse connects the front entrance and parking as well as acts as the main circulation spine, providing visitors and patients immediate access to all public spaces through this central space. The design also creates departmental adjacencies and separates front and back-of-house functions, which helps drive greater efficiency and flexibility.

The exterior composition of white precast panels and blue glass reflect dual inspirations—the technological sophistication of the hospital as well as elements from the surrounding natural landscape, including the prominent birch tree groves in the area. Other aspects of the design pay homage to Marquette’s history of iron ore mining; light-reflecting brick embedded with ore creates a metallic-like quality furthering the campus’ visual prominence within the community.

Located about a mile inland from Lake Superior, the building is oriented and designed with the weather in mind. Expansive windows on the southside patient rooms and lobby maximize daylight and southern exposure to benefit the human experience and energy efficiency. The structure is elongated in the East/West direction due to Northwest prevailing winds in order to reduce snowdrift at critical patient access points and minimize drag. Gresham Smith provided planning, architecture, interior design and structural engineering services for the project. A joint Skanska Closner team served as general contractor.