UF Health has earned a 2018 City Beautification Award for the stunning design of our new UF Health Heart & Vascular Hospital and UF Health Neuromedicine Hospital and property.
Each year, the City of Gainesville recognizes projects with “outstanding aesthetic and artistic appeal,” evaluated for originality, innovation,
creativity and sustainability. The property must reflect appropriate use of land and improve the adjacent area.
“It’s an honor to have the design of our new hospitals and surrounding terrain acknowledged as a community asset,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president. “Our theme was ‘built around the patient’ — to determine the needs of our patients and families and then to create a design in which form followed function. Congratulations to our architects and design team, who worked with faculty, staff and patient groups to achieve this goal so successfully, and to create for our community a facility and landscape that speaks to healing and peacefulness.”
The hospital facility is located along the Rails to Trails corridor, visually connected with Gainesville’s award-winning DNA Bridge.
“The building’s structural ‘folded planes’ express the enveloping nature of the hospital,” said Brad Pollitt, A.I.A., UF Health Shands Facilities vice president, who oversaw design and construction.
“Natural light and nature are healing and good for the spirit, and we designed the hospital so that people inside can get the most benefit from the outdoors. We made the landscaped surroundings appealing so that patients and staff will enjoy them as much as possible,” he added.
The creative architecture deliberately engages and sends subtle messages. The modern use of glass, metal panels, terracotta and precast materials complements the technical infrastructure and resources inside. A glass-enclosed stairwell climbs the front of the building, creating a visually dramatic vertical element from the outside, especially when colorfully lit at night, while encouraging the use of stairs versus elevators.
The hospitals embrace a large landscaped area, expanding the existing healing garden with additional walkways weaving through native plantings, sculptures emphasizing natural materials, a gazebo and several water features. Patients, visitors and staff find respite in the gardens, with their gentle-sounding waterfalls and fountains.
The building design maximizes these beautiful scenes: Private patient rooms include expansive windows, the third-floor terrace and dining patio provides seating in sun or shade, each floor has walking corridors — all offering stunning views of the gardens, the city and Paynes Prairie State Preserve. The terrace includes telemetry (remote monitoring) for patients connected to heart-function tracking technology, and the property’s free Wi-Fi encourages people to access the healing benefits of the outdoors.
UF Health Shands also earned Green Globes Certification for these new hospitals from the American National Standards Institute, recognizing the facility’s environmental performance and sustainable design.
“Patients benefit from the collaboration of UF College of Medicine faculty physicians and clinical experts in a modern medical center designed to meet their exact needs,” UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez said. “We all benefit from the healing spaces, inside and out. Well done to everyone involved in creating this beautiful resource for our community.”