UF Health Jacksonville


Jacksonville, FL




Architecture, Interior Design, Experiential Design and Wayfinding

With a desire to bring much-needed healthcare services to a rapidly growing area in North Jacksonville, UF Health set out to develop a full-service inpatient hospital. In 2012, Gresham Smith began developing a master plan for a new medical campus. The first phase which opened in 2015, was a six-story, 200,000-square-foot “bedless hospital” which included an ambulatory care center and medical office complex. In July 2017, Gresham Smith’s services extended into phase II with the design that included a five-story, 92-bed, 160,000-square-foot inpatient tower and a new central energy plant. Since then, the hospital has been so successful that UF Health sees a need for further expansion. As part of this next expansion, they will offer two new service lines, rehabilitation and concierge medicine.

The current phase of the project, phase III, will add a six-story, 124-bed, 174,000-square-foot inpatient bed tower expansion to the existing clinical services building and bed tower. Every element of the design focuses on delivering an exceptional, hospitality-inspired patient experience and an aesthetic that speaks to the innovative healthcare that UF Health is committed to providing.

square-foot facility
story inpatient tower
main lobby rendering

Adaptable Amenities

This new tower includes a 48-bed rehabilitation unit and state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym, a 24-bed ICU, and two floors of 24-bed acuity adaptable units. The 6th floor will also include a premier 4-bed Concierge Medicine suite. In addition to all-private patient rooms, the tower offers shared amenity spaces including conference rooms, dining spaces, an outdoor rehab terrace and healing garden.

artwork by floor
outdoor courtyard rendering

Natural Beauty for Non-Traditional Design

Inspired by the Intracoastal Waterway, the contemporary interior and exterior features are cohesively and symbolically blended. Each of the six floors are designed to represent a stage in the water cycle of Florida’s waterways: spring, river, marsh, shore, sky and rain.

Design elements on the interior, including major art pieces, are intended to be experienced from both inside and outside the building. Artwork featuring regional color photography printed on non-traditional substrates such as wood and brushed aluminum provides positive visual interest to staff, patients, and families.

family lounge rendering
nurse in patient room rendering

Exceptional Care and Comfort

Each patient room is equipped with a multifaceted entertainment and education system that allows a patient to remain in bed while controlling the room’s lighting, temperature and solar-shade system, reducing the risk of falling. Patients can also watch on-demand entertainment, order meals and access the internet from their bed via a bedside tablet. Staff can use the system to notify bed tracking when a room is available, give discharge instructions, and provide telemedicine opportunities for the physicians and patients, streamlining the delivery of information.

lobby of 6th floor rendering
patient family headwall rendering

Hospitable Healing

A soothing, resort-like environment helps put patients and their loved ones at ease. The tower’s all-private inpatient rooms provide access to an abundance of natural light as well as views of the lush green rooftops. Access to comfortable outdoor space was an important design driver, not only for the patients but also their families. The family waiting spaces include a balcony that overlooks the nearby wetlands and a healing garden provides a space for respite.

The Concierge suite was designed to house visiting patients and their families from around the world who will travel to this hospital campus for premium care. The patient suites will include a family room with upgraded features, a fold-out sofa bed and other amenities. Rich finishes and details are in keeping with a luxurious hotel, to provide a warm retreat for families. Patient rooms conceal as much of the clinical function as possible to create a relaxing, healing environment.

Exercising Independence

The two floors of inpatient rehabilitation are anchored by a stunning two-story rehab gym that overlooks an outdoor roof terrace rehab garden. The gym gives patients access to a multitude of therapies including a monumental stair equipped with an overhead gait and balance system. The views and abundant daylight stimulate the patients, inspiring them as they train and exercise, while the walkways are designed to challenge patients with varying surfaces, steps and ramps. Shade trellises with built-in seating provide relief from the Florida sun and large tree planters, native landscaping and water features create a soothing escape in the fresh air.

rehab gym view rendering
2nd floor of rehab rendering

Flexibility for the Future

The three upper floors were designed with flexibility in mind. The 24 inpatient rooms on each floor are considered “acuity adaptable” rooms. They are large enough and have the required infrastructure to house intensive care patients but include all the homelike features that a medical and surgical unit room typically includes. This gives the hospital the flexibility to change the function of the unit based on future changes in the census and patient acuity levels.