Despite their amazing advances, most hospitals today still fail to make patients feel relaxed, or at times even human. One visionary hospital that long ago challenged that shortcoming is a midcentury masterpiece by Edward Durell Stone: The Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, or as it is fondly called by locals, CHOMP. Stone’s Wrightian, ornamented-white-concrete Modernist structure, with its focus on natural light and views of the surrounding landscape of Monterey Pines overlooking the Pacific, was completed in 1962. The low-lying, orthogonal-planned complex has landscaped courtyards, a central fountain court, overhanging roof planes for shade, single-occupancy rooms with large windows overlooking the landscape, and large skylights, all bucking the then-emerging trend of new hospital towers and focusing on context rather than maximizing interior space. The hospital has undergone several small interventions and expansions, but almost 50 years after its opening, it needed a major update in size and technology. Following an extensive interview process, the hospital’s board chose HOK’s Los Angeles office for the task, asking the firm to maintain the character of the original design, which patients and the community have come to cherish.
HOK’s $170 million addition to the hospital consists of about 200,000 square feet of new construction and 90,000 square feet of renovated space. New spaces are complete, while the renovations will continue until 2010. Three-story additions include the Forest Pavilion, a new patient wing projecting north on the site of the hospital’s former rose garden; the South Pavilion, a new diagnostic and treatment wing (containing a new ICU, emergency departments, cath labs, and imaging) to the south, on the site of the former doctors’ parking lot and support structures; and a new, three-level underground parking-garage area, nicknamed the “garage mahal,” under the renovated and expanded main entrance area. Existing spaces undergoing renovation include the hospital’s cafeteria, imaging facilities, cath labs, administrative offices, a meditation room, a new cardiopulmonary department, a rehab gym, and service and support spaces.
The firm’s major challenge was maintaining the Zen-like peacefulness and iconic design of a complex that has become a fixture in the community while carrying out such an extensive enlargement and modernization and adhering to the incredibly strict regulations of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).
The new complex is most notable for how it blends in. While updated with the latest technologies, the plan, massing, and scale of the new buildings are almost identical to those of the original buildings. To add space without altering the horizontal nature of the complex, the firm excavated one to two levels down on both ends of the hospital, aligning the new buildings with the old. Maintaining low ceiling heights while fitting new HVAC and electrical systems also required innovative rerouting. Main ducts skip the building’s middle level, which is instead fed via smaller branch ducts from the other floors.
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Project Designer: Ernest Cirangle, AIA; Paul Nagashima, AIA
Project Manager: Paul Morgan, AIA
Project Architect: Paul Morgan, AIA
Project Interior Designer: Barbara Ostroff, CID
List Engineering (Monterey) – Ron Blue
President: Mike Feuz
Project Manager: Matt Bouquet
Superintendent: Dennis Buskirk
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Cast in place reinforced concrete
GFRC Wall panels: Dura Art Stone,
Metal doors: Curries
Wood doors: Buell Door Co.
Fire-control doors, security grilles: Cookson
Special doors (sound control, X-ray, etc.): Nelco
Hinges: Architectural Builders Hardware
Exit devices: Von Duprin
Pulls: Architectural Builders Hardware
Security devices: Von Duprin
Cabinet hardware: Sugatsune
Suspension grid: Chicago Metallic
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Mission Bell
Paints and stains: Sherwin Williams
Wallcoverings: Maharam – Whirlwind
Paneling: Natural Cherry Veneer
Plastic laminate: Formica
Special surfacing: Zodiac Quartz
Floor and wall tile: Patient, Staff & Public Restrooms
Resilient flooring: Forbo Linoleum, VCT, Altro
Carpet: Custom Rugs – Decorative Carpets
Raised flooring: Tate Access Floors
Waiting Area Furniture: Maguire – Antalya
Tables: Maguire – Antalya
Upholstery: Knoll, Maharam, Glant