October 22, 2014

A Hospital Designed to Feature Colorado’s Greatest Asset: The Weather

It’s hard to beat the weather in Colorado. We get ample amounts of sun, and with the low humidity, you can enjoy the outdoors nearly any day of the year. So when the Saint Joseph Hospital team set out to design the new hospital, they wanted to make sure patients, families and staff could take advantage of Colorado’s greatest asset, even when inside the hospital.

Let the Sun Shine In

An abundance of natural light pours through the windows of the new hospital. Facing south, the hospital offers breathtaking views. The first two floors have the most natural lighting in the facility being nearly all glass.

Enjoy Fresh Air without Leaving the Floor

Patios, balconies and staff lounges carefully planned on every floor provide an opportunity for patients, visitors and employees to step outside, take a breath of fresh air and enjoy the weather.

According to Bain Farris, president and CEO of Saint Joseph Hospital, visitors don’t like to be far away from their family members, especially when the loved one is having surgery. “We find that even when we tell people that their family member will be in surgery for two hours, they don’t like to go far away,” Farris explained. So, the surgical floor, which is on the second level, has two sizable outdoor patios.  Saint Joseph Hospital employees also are encouraged to enjoy the space, as surgical staff rarely gets to leave the floor when they are on shift.

Wide Open Spaces

Those who do wish to venture outdoors have plenty of options. The new hospital makes its home on 30 acres that include 3.5 acres of parks and garden areas with 587 trees, a unique landscape for the downtown area. The cafeteria has a large outdoor patio, complete with a fire pit, and there are beautiful gardens directly outside the Chapel where people can go to sit, stroll and reflect. 

Overall, this approach to helping patients and families have easy access to outdoor space is another example of the thoughtful care that went into the space design. Farris tells us that the space design connecting the indoor and outdoor spaces is a reminder of the importance of balance and self-care that is needed when loved ones are in the hospital.