The aspiration to create one of the most advanced orthopedic hospitals in the country has come to fruition via a sculptural design from leading global architecture firm Perkins+Will’s New York office.
The architecture, led by the firm’s New York Design Director, Robert Goodwin, FAIA, LEED AP, in cooperation with HDR, the /work/hartford-hospital-bone-joint-institute Hartford Bone & Joint Institute – comprised of curved white aluminum plate spandrel panels with extensive ribbon windows wrapping its exterior – was designed to convey and simulate movement, like that of the human body. The new Connecticut facility reflects the expression of the institute’s clinical vision of “life in motion,” employing a language of sculptural, fluid forms that link all the elements including aesthetic appeal, internal demands, site configuration and views.
“The facility is the distinct and literal expression of what an orthopedic and musculoskeletal treatment can look like, paired with the functionality and innovation a multidisciplinary institution of its kind requires,” Goodwin stated.
The south and north ends of the building culminate in stair towers – the north more enclosed and the south exposed through a transparent fritted glass that creates a dramatic vertical expression at the entry to the campus, especially in the evening. The design language of the exteriors continues inside with clean, modern details and elegant materials such as terrazzo and dark wood. Flooring, screens, and decorative glass reference movement with gradients and transitional patterns.
The 150,000-square-foot building spans six stories and contains 10 inpatient and outpatient operating rooms, and 60 patient rooms – all private. Bright accent colors and specialty wood ceilings highlight locations where caregiver interactions take place. All public spaces are placed along the building perimeter, providing views to the outdoors. Amenities include a café, private lounge areas, access to outdoor seating and social gathering spaces. A sinuous, wood-clad balcony inspired by (and literally serving as) connective tissue links both sides of the building.
A dynamic new hospital centered around patient recovery and healing, the Hartford Bone & Joint Institute is the first of its kind in the region, and the next step in the hospital’s 25-year master plan for its downtown Hartford campus. It integrates all elements of orthopedic and musculoskeletal treatment including specialty care, advanced diagnostics, rehabilitation, rheumatology, neurology, neurosurgery and pain management.
The design team’s conscientious approach to the selection of finishes and furniture resulted in choosing products to decrease the use of chlorinated plastics, and reduce persistent bio accumulative toxins. Millwork and ceiling panels contain no added urea formaldehyde, green label plus carpeting, ceiling products, wallcovering, and PVC-free resilient flooring made with bio-based content, and furniture specified without flame retardants.
Inspired by the botanical garden at the center of the hospital’s south campus designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the form of the building inflects to the east to define a new garden as a foreground to the building. A lush, sculptural landscape helps create an outdoor extension of the rehabilitation activities of the hospital to connect patients to nature – a variety of tree species, berms, and plantings define private space around the building, including both paved and grass-covered activity areas and a looped walking path encircling a storm water mitigating rain garden.