Owner: Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Completion Date: June 2010
Program: A two-story, 72,000-square-foot facility for traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients at Bethesda's National Naval Medical Center. The project includes clinics; imaging facilities; spaces for physical therapy, outdoor rehabilitation, and virtual-reality-assisted rehab; offices; an auditorium; a patient lounge and coffee bar; and a skylit multipurpose space that can host activities ranging from group exercises to theater performances.
Design concept and solution:The architects needed to accommodate a wide variety of programs under one roof, while creating flexible spaces that can adapt to the center's evolving needs as new findings about TBI emerge. They concentrated the diagnostic, treatment, and support spaces in an L-shaped wing whose legs bracket the main lobby and circulation area. In keeping with the largely concrete Bethesda campus, SmithGroup clad the center in sandy-hued precast concrete panels with a curtain wall. At the lobby, the curtain wall takes on a serpentine shape, its curves echoed on the interior by a freestanding wood-clad enclosure that houses physical therapy, the auditorium, and the chapel. The center's imaging suite anticipates changes in technology and equipment with ten-foot knockout panels. In addition, the architects allotted extra space—currently used for research—to the suite so that it can add an upgraded MRI or hyperbaric chamber in the future.
Total construction cost: $65 million
Location: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland
901 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Architect of record: SmithGroup
Interior designer: SmithGroup
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Concrete: Miller & Long, Precast Concrete by Arban & Corosi