As part of a $250 million master plan, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) called on Gresham Smith to design a new patient tower to replace a dated, disjointed facility on their campus. Working with hospital administrators and the community, we designed a nine-story, 300,000-square-foot tower to fulfill the needs of patients, family members and staff alike. With and improved layout and an emphasis on wayfinding, as well as rooms designed with patients in mind, our team created a space that elevates the healthcare experience for the Sarasota community.
Master Planning for SuccessThe new patient tower is part of SMH’s comprehensive master plan. The nine-story building links two existing towers, connecting the support services located in each building. The new tower houses a labor and delivery unit, a neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated postpartum floor, medical/surgical suites and admissions and pre-admissions testing areas, embracing the latest innovations in family-centered, patient-focused care.
A Focus on WayfindingPatients and visitors had trouble navigating the previous patient tower, so wayfinding was a top priority throughout the entire design process. The new main entrance features a large exterior canopy, similar to an airport, while the modern, open lobby creates an inviting experience. The entire space opens to an exterior courtyard, which serves as a central landmark and waiting area. Our team strategically located departments and installed new signage throughout the hospital, as well as updated exterior wayfinding and created dedicated entrances for the emergency care center and surgery center.
Creating a Positive Patient ExperienceBoth semiprivate and private patient rooms channel Sarasota’s waterfront, using simple woodgrain finishes and cool natural colors to create a soothing experience. Unlike typical semiprivate rooms, SMH’s rooms feature separate doors for each patient and an easily accessible shared bathroom. Additionally, patient rooms feature a comfortable, distinct space for visiting family members
Designed for the Seasonal PopulationThe City of Sarasota is a popular snowbird destination, with many people only living there during the winter. Since the population fluctuates, we designed flexible semiprivate patient rooms that can become highly upgraded rooms with a bed for family members during the off season.
“I am excited for our patients to experience the new accommodations, which represent a major step in our continual efforts to provide the best possible healthcare environment for the Sarasota region…I believe the result is something that everyone can be proud of.”
Gwen MacKenzie, CEO, Sarasota Memorial Health Care System