UF & Shands


Jacksonville, Florida




Architecture, Interior Design, Experiential Design and Wayfinding

In 2006, the University of Florida set out to develop plans for a new community hospital in North Jacksonville—an area projected for population growth, and the only part of Greater Jacksonville lacking an acute care medical facility. The hospital would not only provide medical services desperately needed in northern Duval County, but also give the region a much-needed economic boost by creating new jobs. Gresham Smith provided architectural, interior design, site design and environmental graphics services for the distinctive two-phase project, with the goal of creating a leading-edge outpatient medical complex during phase one, and ultimately a full-service inpatient hospital as part of phase two. Key client objectives included creating an environment where both community physicians and UF Health physicians could practice side by side; eliminating unnecessary barriers between departments to reduce staff redundancy and increase staffing efficiency; creating an economically sustainable facility; and integrating the latest in technology.

By situating the MOB on top of the two hospital floors, physicians with diverse specializations can consult with patients in their offices and then refer them to the hospital below if imaging services or blood work is required, making it an attractive model for both community and UF Health doctors. As demand increases, less acute functions will migrate to the upper MOB floors to increase capacity for higher acuity care.

To eliminate unnecessary barriers between departments, as well as create an economically sustainable facility, Gresham Smith designed departments within the hospital to be flexible and boundaries were eliminated. For example, the first-floor layout features zones for rapid assessment, emergent care, patient observation, infusion therapy, PAT, electrocardiogram, PFT, lab/draw and outpatient nursing, all within a single universal care unit.

On the hospital’s second floor, Gresham Smith’s interventional suite design supports the evolving nature of clinical procedures, and the creation of flex space between each key room permits the continued, logical adaptation and evolution of these interventional spaces. Future renovations can take place within the footprint of each suite, allowing the rest of the department to continue functioning during construction.

New technologies were incorporated into the facility, including point-of-care registration, kiosks and real-time location systems that can track assets, personnel and/or patients, enhancing the overall patient experience.

The building’s distinctive angled form and white and silver palette inspired the design of both interior and exterior signage. Angled vertical sides frame the primary site entrance monument, and a center “slice” illuminates at night to guide motorists. Secondary entrance monuments and vehicular directionals take the same cue and echo the building’s architecture throughout the site. Inside, the angled profile appears in overhead directionals and ID signs like the one wrapping the stone wall behind the Surgery Reception desk. Atop the building, a large-scale illuminated UFHealth logo, visible from I-95 half a mile distant, leads first-time visitors to their destination.

Addressing the acute need for high-quality healthcare in northern Duval County, UF Health Jacksonville’s six story, 200,000-square-foot ambulatory care and medical office complex adds to existing services located at the hospital’s downtown campus, positioning the facility as the region’s first-choice provider for primary and secondary medical services as it continues to expand and add services in the years to come.