THE PIC T U R E OF
Evidence-based design is just what the
doctor ordered for the St. Jude Medical
Center’s new towering hospital.
Although only recently occupied, the St. Jude Medical Center Northwest Tower in Fullerton, Calif., is very much alive and well. The $228 million project included construction of a 200,000-square-foot, four-story acute care building that features cutting-edge design practices. The
strategies have produced a clean bill of health for patients, staff, and facility.
The medical center incorporates evidence-based design (EBD) strategies to
alleviate stress, reduce length of stay, and enhance communication between caregivers and patients. EBD aims to close the gap between research and practice—
shifting design from a vocational skill to a knowledge model, where choices and
directions reflect theory and researchable findings.
“The St. Jude organization was really a driving force in using evidence-based
design,” explained Neal Rinella, principal at Taylor Design, which designed the hospital.
“The client was very familiar and sophisticated with it. It gets beyond the aesthetic
and gets into the operational: What is the best way to deliver care? What are the best
results and practices? How do you gain efficiencies? How do you reduce costs?”
As a result, St Jude’s tower design is not only an optimal care environment for
healing, but also a building that supports the organizational commitment to patient
dignity, the human spirit, and compassionate communities.
Effective EBD strategies strike a balance between research, creativity, and professional experience as applied to the design process. For the St. Jude project, Taylor
assembled a design charrette to integrate the interests and aptitudes of a diverse
By Chris Curtland | Photography courtesy of RMA Photography, Michael McLane, and Taylor Design
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