Sky Ridge Medical Center

  • Gregory A. Gore

    Gregory A. Gore AIA, NCARB

    Senior Architect, Principal Contact
Surrounded by the foothills of the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains, Sky Ridge Medical Center represents the cornerstone architectural project for an affluent, planned urban development in northern Douglas County. Challenged to establish a precedent for the newly planned community’s design standards, GS&P worked closely with HCA to create the archetype for the hospital and the surrounding community. Speed-to-market was another important factor in the success of the hospital’s design. With a competing hospital planning a new facility in the suburban area outside of Denver, it was essential that Sky Ridge open as soon as possible to establish a standard of excellence for healthcare and control market share in the highly aggressive region.

Sky Ridge Medical Center’s design transcends the traditional hospital concept. Hotel-like finishes and design elements greet patients and staff from the moment they enter the campus. Reminiscent of a classic winter ski resort, the hospital’s signage and wayfinding embody the successful integration of indigenous materials with sophisticated design. The hospital’s name speaks to the beautiful views from virtually every point of entry. Natural materials like marble, fieldstone and wood panels adorn the public spaces. A towering stone fireplace presents a ski lodge ambience, promoting warmth, luxury and comfort for visitors. The main entrance opens to a monumental staircase leading down into the lower level dining. Relaxing interior finishes blend into outdoor serenity, spilling out into a well-appointed natural meditation garden.

GS&P completed the design work on schedule and assisted the construction manager in carrying out construction activities on time, allowing Sky Ridge Medical Center to open as a preeminent healthcare provider for the community. Planned to accommodate some of the largest medical departments in the Denver area, the hospital combines cutting-edge technology and equipment with exceptional patient-centered care. The 362,500-square-foot, seven-story facility features 30 intensive care units; an intensive care unit cath lab; 20 operating rooms—including four general operating rooms, four orthopedic operating rooms, seven spine operating rooms, four neuro-operating rooms; and one cysto-operating room—and consists of predominantly private rooms with eight amenity suites on the top patient floor.

Layout of the space was strategically designed to improve patient and staff functionality, while maintaining aesthetic needs. Locally quarried stone and amenities such as fireplaces and an ideally situated healing garden were used to create a familiar, upscale sense of place that has been proven to improve staff morale and patient satisfaction. Since completion of the project, staff and patient satisfaction have continuously been reported as “above average”.

The original 275-bed hospital was designed with flexibility for future growth in mind, with the possibility of growing to 335 beds to better serve one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Since the hospital’s completion in 2003, GS&P has provided professional services for every addition and expansion effort, including a shell expansion, a 15,000-square-foot ICU addition, a 40,000-square-foot orthopedic addition, the 120,000-square-foot Women’s Health Center and surgery expansion, a four-level 1,000-car parking garage, and the 62,000-square-foot Spine and Joint Center expansion and renovation. A standalone surgical unit within the hospital, the Spine and Joint Center contains 11 ortho/neuro ORs supported by 20 preoperative holding rooms and 16 PACU bays, as well as seven orthopedic/spine ORs.

GS&P’s work is evident across every inch of this world-class hospital and into the surrounding planned community, which adopted the design aesthetic we first established at Sky Ridge.

Greg Gore, AIA, NCARB, senior architect and principal at GS&P
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