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Celebrating 60 Years of Design + Innovation

A New Model for Public Hospitals

Eskenazi Health
Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

“Eskenazi Hospital and Health Campus not only provided an economic stimulus to our region, but its modern design, sustainable engineering, and commitment to public art and public space make a great statement about the values of our community.”

Michael Huber
President and CEO, Indy Chamber

Located on the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis campus, this public hospital and medical center creates a contemporary academic healthcare environment that merges clinical, research and educational missions.

The 37-acre complex replaces the nearby Wishard Hospital, presenting an opportunity for a complete transformation that is rare for urban academic medical centers. Rather than create a massive single structure, the team assembled hospital elements into distinct programs, creating a series of linked buildings and spaces. The rigor of internal space and function is complemented by the natural open spaces formed by a thoughtful composition and placement of buildings.

Structured around a central green space, the medical center includes a 315-bed hospital linked by a two-level concourse to a 275-exam room ambulatory care clinic, a faculty office building, a 2,700-car parking garage, two utility buildings and public plazas.

The facade is defined by a contemporary use of glass, metal and precast concrete panels. These simple, modern materials articulate frames, planes and volumes that define internal functions and communicate a broader community identity about the hospital’s programs.

Every aspect of the design focuses on the health and wellness of patients. Reorganizing care delivery for all key departments has streamlined patient movement and eliminated wasted space. The efficient plan enables the new hospital to serve 20 percent more patients in one-third the amount of space.

The public realm framework provides a system of roadways, pathways and landscape between the hospital and the university campus. Positioned at the main entry to the hospital and clinic, The Commonground at Eskenazi Health is a flexible public plaza with water features and a restaurant pavilion.

The Eskenazi Health Sky Farm, a rooftop fruit and vegetable garden with 5,000 square feet of growable space, highlights healthy eating and wellness habits while giving patients and employees opportunities to enjoy nature.

Despite the challenging northern climate and the fact that both the hospital and the ambulatory care clinic use 100 percent outdoor air, the project achieved LEED Gold certification.

One of the structural challenges was the incorporation of a nine-story, 60-foot-tall cantilever on the bed tower. The original architectural vision was for a basic cantilever stair system. Late in the design process, this grew into a conference room before ultimately becoming a large piece of the building measuring three bays wide and two bays long. This encompassed not only the cantilever trusses but, due to an offset in the column guide, transfer trusses supporting one of the cantilever trusses. Throughout construction, HOK’s engineering team worked closely with the contractor on deflection control to allow facade construction to advance before the steel erection above the trusses was complete.




1.3 million sq. ft. / 120,775 sq. m.


Construction Administration
Construction Phase Project Management
Facility Programming
Full-time Field Representation
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design
Master Planning
Structural Engineering


Building Better Healthcare UK – Best International Development

AIA St. Louis – Merit Award – Architecture

Indy Chamber – Monumental Award


Increase in patients served in one-third less space


Drop in patient falls due to continuous railing in patient rooms


Patient satisfaction scores, up from 63%


Use of fresh air in all outpatient clinic spaces



19 November 2015
“HOK-Designed Eskenazi Health Campus Is Among World’s Most Sustainable New Hospital Projects”
HOK News

9 November 2015
“Building Better Healthcare Honors the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital”
HOK News

22 October 2015
“The Art of Designing Patient-Friendly Hospitals”
Midwest Real Estate Journal

26 November 2014
“Eskenazi Hospital: One Year Later”
Healthcare Design

13 November 2014
“Civic Pride”
Healthcare Design 

6 November 2014
“Eskenazi Health Takes Top Architectural Honor”
Indianapolis Business Journal 

5 November 2014
“Eskenazi Takes Top Honors at Indy Chamber Awards”
Indy Chamber 

3 November 2014
“Podcast: Design Goals for a New Safety-Net Public Hospital”
Healthcare Design

1 September 2014
“Dramatic Cantilevers, Glass Facade Define Hospital”
Civil Engineering

17 December 2013
“Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, Eskenazi Health Campus Opens”
Healthcare Design Magazine