IKM was retained by the West Virginia University Healthcare system to look at strategies and design solutions to expand the useable square footage on its main campus. The existing facility consisted of two, ten-story patient wings on either side of an open air courtyard, elevated on stilts to allow vehicle access and patient drop off underneath the footprint of the hospital. IKM recommended enclosing the outdoor space under the elevated patient wings which also provided the opportunity to create a new 4-story atrium entrance space with a new covered drop-off to properly present the facility to patients and visitors.
Complex structural solutions were required to allow the space under the 8-story patient wings to be transformed into useable square footage.
The parameters of this project required that the existing hospital remain entirely occupied with uninterrupted access throughout the demolition and construction phases.
Furthering the complexity of this challenging project was the urban nature of the site. Medical Center Drive is located approximately forty feet away from construction area and provides the only access to the patient drop off and parking lots. Contractors were required to keep this roadway open and protected throughout the entire project and laydown space was extremely limited. Additionally, no parking spaces were taken out of service at any time during the construction process.
The solution developed is a four story atrium with outpatient services flanking the east and west side of the atrium integrating natural light to support a variety of waiting and public spaces. A monumental stair offers the option of vertical connection to all four levels. The space will be a highly active hub of the institution and transform the face of the hospital all in support of creating a superior experience.
IKM embraced the challenges and unique characteristics of this complex scope of work and maximized the design opportunities that it provided along the way. The result is a completely re-envisioned main entrance and drop off for patients and visitors. Valuable square footage was re-claimed and made available to support the expansion of inpatient and outpatient services at the growing facility.