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A New Model for Public Hospitals

Eskenazi Health
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

“The new Wishard will be a totally new environment that will welcome you, put you at ease and make your visit an easier and better experience. This new hospital is designed around you as well as the people who care for and serve you.”

Lisa Harris, MD
CEO and Medical Director, Wishard Health Services

This new public hospital located on the Indiana University campus advances innovative ideas in healthcare design and patient care.

Replacing the nearby Wishard Medical Center, the new 37-acre complex presented an opportunity for a complete transformation that is rare in urban academic medical center settings.

The design aesthetic creates simple, sculptural spaces that are honest in their representation of materials and that use timeless colors with a variety of textures.

The exterior design reflects the ideal internal organization. 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 outdoor entry commons acts as an inviting civic environment.

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. As a result, patient transitions are down from 3.5 to less than 1.5 times. To maximize efficiency for physicians, the program aligns horizontal platforms of inpatient care with corresponding ambulatory clinics. The efficient plan enables the new hospital to serve 20 percent more patients in one-third less space.

The naturally illuminated interior spaces are filled with colorful art. Materials support a reduction in noise transmission.

A 5,000-square-foot rooftop fruit and vegetable garden (the “Sky Farm”) highlights healthy eating and wellness concepts while providing patients and employees an opportunity to enjoy nature.

Despite the challenging northern climate and the fact that 100 percent outdoor air used in both the hospital and the ambulatory care clinic, the project is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Patient satisfaction scores have gone from 63 percent to more than 80 percent. Staff scores have also improved based on the new design features and work systems.

“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,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber, in announcing that the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital had received the highest honor of the Monumental Award at the Indy Chamber’s 2014 Monumental Awards.


LEED-NC Gold anticipated


1.2 million sq. ft. / 111,500 sq. m.


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


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



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

17 November 2013
“New $754M Indy Hospital Offers Sun-Filled Design” 
Indianapolis Business Journal

15 November 2013
“Healing Gardens”
Medical Construction & Design