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Extreme Makeover
For the better part of four years, the campus master plan has been taking shape. At its heart are two connected clinical towers. What forces drove their design? What have been the chief considerations and concerns? And beyond “the buildings,” as they are commonly called, what else is on the drawing boards? Such questions have no simple answers. Here, though, are some highlights.

Each of the three floors of operating and procedure rooms has a reception and waiting area with views of the city skyline. The Weinberg Building is in the background.


For months, a debate has raged over what to call the new clinical towers. Why should one be called the “Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower” when far more than cardiovascular disorders will be treated there, and care provided will be not just for the critically ill? And why should it be “Children’s and Maternal Hospital”? Labor and delivery, after all, will be in the adult tower, connected by a bridge, lined with offices and known as the “umbilical cord,” which leads to the NICU in the children’s building.

Eventually, these names may change, but ultimately, the entire debate may be moot, says Ron Peterson, president of Hopkins Hospital and Health System. “These are simply generic, placeholder designations. If we have the good fortune of attracting donors, the buildings will carry their names.”

Furthermore, says Peterson, a gift might name the actual children’s tower, for example, and a mega gift would name the entire children’s program, much in the same way the Weinberg gift named the Weinberg Building and the $150 million Kimmel gift named the Comprehensive Cancer Center. No matter what, neither tower nor program would be called a hospital, for “hospital” would be redundant, says Peterson. “These components are already part of the larger Johns Hopkins Hospital.”


Driving the design of the new buildings is not just the need for more space, but flexible space, space that can expand and contract depending on demand. For example, says pediatrics administrator Ted Chambers, “from November to March, beds have to expand to meet the needs of kids with respiratory disease; in summer, for trauma and elective surgeries.”

Another dominant theme: adjacencies. The adult ED, for instance, will be next to the pediatric ED, with imaging suites and trauma rooms shared between them. The cardiac ORs and cardiovascular interventional labs will be adjacent to prep and recovery rooms, the 12-bed cardiac care unit, the 18-bed cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit, and a 32-bed cardiology step-down unit. All the ORs will be adjacent to their corresponding ICUs—all, that is, save the surgical intensive care unit.

The SICU, where patients typically will wind up after leaving the general operating rooms on level 3, will be on level 9. That has some worried. “Part of it is that no one trusts the elevators,” says Marge Siegmeister, senior project manager in JHH Facilities Design and Construction. “Elevator-challenged” is how one outside architect characterized the Hopkins mindset. But if the elevators operate as they should, getting about vertically may well be more expedient than horizontally. That is because there is going to be an awful lot of ground to cover.

This unit on the 9th level of the adult tower has 32 private rooms. In place of the traditional single nurses’ station are decentralized work alcoves, between every two rooms, for charting and three strategically placed larger "workstations" for all members of the patient care team.


All the inpatient rooms will be private. In the adult tower, there will be 32 on each unit. These huge units will be one and a half times the size of Nelson 4 and Meyer 9, currently the hospital’s longest. It could add up to a lot of walking, but nursing VP Karen Haller says spaces for nurses have been decentralized. “Work stations will be at either end of the unit. Computer stations will be between every two rooms. That cuts down on the distance nurses walk and the time they stand in line. All this keeps the nurse close to the bedside.”


Healthy food choices. A “grab and go” employee-only venue. Access to green space. Round-the-clock service. When surveyed about dining preferences, employees said that’s what they wanted. And that is what they’ll get.

The “Open Market,” on the second level of the new structure will open onto Phipps garden. On the third level, the “Grab ‘n Go Canteen,” for employees only, will serve sandwiches, soups and salads with the city skyline as a backdrop. Also in the works: breakfast and sub-style venues.

Meanwhile, the main cafeteria will remain the primary dining destination but will be transformed into the “East Side Market,” a food court exuding abundance and openness. It will operate 24/7 as vendors are willing. Tower Terrace—expanded, renovated and renamed Zanipolo’s—will offer Mediterranean cuisine and “fast-casual” dining.


Another chief goal has been making room for medical education. For Julia McMillan, associate dean for graduate medical education, the new towers have represented an opportunity to reclaim residents’ rightful space. “In the current buildings, there have been encroachments on space intended for medical education. Residents and medical students doing their clinical rotations need access to rooms in which to sleep, gather, work and study.” Room for all such activities—including 80 call rooms arranged in suites with baths—has been carved out specifically for residents. Still, says McMillan, “I’m already worried there won’t be enough space.”


The Marburg Pavilion. The high-amenities unit on Marburg 3 is “too far from where the action is,” says Siegmeister. “So many patients come to Hopkins for specialty treatment. They need to be right on the units that support those specialties.” There will be either designated, high-amenity rooms on various units, or upgraded entertainment, meals-on-demand, security and other amenities delivered directly to the patient, wherever he may be. Mary Margaret Jacobs, JHH director of patient/ family and visitor services, calls this concept “amenities-in-a-box.” But, says Jacobs, “you lose lots when you move to a larger unit. Patients like the quiet and privacy Marburg affords.”

… and Brady. In addition to the Broadway Garage, Jefferson and the Maryland Hospital Laundry, Brady, the c.1914 building between Park and Blalock, named for financier and one-time urology patient James “Diamond Jim” Brady, is destined for the wrecking ball.

But not Hurd Hall. For now, at least. Eventually, all the buildings along the northern side of the hospital—CMSC, Park, Blalock, Carnegie, Pathology, Halsted/Osler (home to Hurd Hall)—will be demolished. For the immediate future, however, these buildings will remain standing, and some will house labs and faculty offices.

… or Phipps. For now, likewise. Because every inch of the two connected towers is taken up with programs, another expansion will presumably take place. “From a master planning point of view,” says Sally MacConnell, vice president of facilities, “the site of the next expansion 20 or more years down the road would be the MRI building at Wolfe Street, right on through to Phipps and the Nelson patient tower.”

Looking from the second-level lobby in the children’s tower to the pedestrian bridge, which leads to the Orleans Garage and the pediatric ambulatory center across Orleans Street.


Pediatric Ambulatory Center. Ground was broken at the corner of Wolfe and Orleans in May for the four-story building, slated to open this December. “It will be built in such a way that moving in can be phased, with the Lane (Harriet Lane Clinic) first, then faculty offices, then specialty clinics,” says Ted Chambers. Like the Orleans Street garage, it will be connected to the second level of the new structure by a pedestrian bridge. “It will be quite beautiful,” Chambers says of the bridge, “the real entrance to the new building.”

Patient & Family Pavilion. A new residence for oncology patients undergoing prolonged treatment, and their families, will be built at the corner of Broadway and Orleans, just across the street from the Weinberg Building. A branch of the Pratt Library now stands on the site; construction will not commence on the residence until the library is completely rebuilt farther west on Orleans, across from Dunbar High School.

The four-story residence will replace the existing Hackerman-Patz and Joanne Rockwell Memorial houses, doubling their combined capacity with 40 guest suites, each with a bedroom, bath, lounge and kitchenette. “We want a homelike, welcoming environment, one that provides respite and doesn’t feel like a clinic,” says Sarah Littleton, director of residential living. “This is an entire psychosocial program that addresses needs of those undergoing cancer treatment while far away from home.”

The project is being planned by the University’s design team. Fully funded by philanthropists Willard Hackerman and Sidney Kimmel, it will be called the Hackerman-Patz Patient & Family Pavilion at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.


The 10-year master plan leaves open several building opportunities, among them the 550 Building parking lot, which will be the site of a Wilmer expansion for research and outpatient activities. Eyed for research is the site just west of the Cancer Research Building II and another at the corner of Caroline and Monument. On the wish list are offices on top of the Orleans Street garage and an education facility on top of Turner Auditorium. Dreams like these may one day come true; all it will take is money.


The Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine raised $258 million in FY05, its best year ever. As of July 15, it had raised $139.2 million in all for the buildings, halfway to its $272 million capital goal. (In addition to private philanthropy, the towers are being funded by long-term debt and state of Maryland support.)

The Fund works closely with facilities’ in-house design team and is currently anticipating updated color renderings of the buildings’ exterior, main entrance and lobbies—key spaces for donor walls and naming opportunities. “Groundbreaking,” says Susan Cruse, interim associate vice president for development, “will generate even more excitement.”

Groundbreaking is set tentatively for the spring.

Anne Bennett Swingle





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