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HOK-Designed Ventura County Medical Center Replacement Wing Opens

The four-story replacement wing complements and responds to its environment while prioritizing patient care.

The 248,746-sq.-ft. facility features 128 hospital beds, an emergency room, intensive care, surgery with advanced technology (including the da Vinci Robotics Surgical System), labor and delivery, and a new pediatrics wing. HOK was part of the Clark Construction-led team responsible for design and delivery. It is Ventura County’s first design-build project.

“We anxiously anticipated the opening of the building,” said Dr. Bryan Wong, VCMC’s medical director. “It’s really a celebration for our patients, who will be cared for and healed in the new building. To say we’re excited is an understatement.”

“As a safety-net hospital, Ventura County Medical Center plays an important role in this community, providing a largely underserved part of the county’s population with high-quality, compassionate care,” said Paul Morgan, AIA, a vice president and senior project architect at HOK. “The design of the replacement wing supports this commitment to the community and creates a new public front door for VCMC.”

The design creates a cohesive aesthetic while blending the replacement wing with the existing campus buildings. The design and construction team’s careful planning ensured that the existing hospital remained fully operational during construction.

“We wanted to maximize connectivity between the existing structure and replacement wing and thought creatively about how to fit the building in the middle of an established healthcare campus,” added Morgan.

The Southern California coast and Pacific Ocean inspired HOK’s design, particularly the selection of materials, textures and graphic treatments. Subtly incorporating these elements throughout the replacement wing creates a calming environment for care. The building’s sand-colored, precast concrete exterior complements the coastal-inspired colors and flowing white lines of the interior. A pier-inspired “boardwalk” guides visitors from surface parking to the new main entrance.

HOK’s patient-centric design approach created easily accessible and vibrant gathering areas, green space, courtyards, a healing garden, mountain views, a cafeteria open to the public, and a children’s playground. All of these elements elevate the experience for patients and their families and engage the community. Incorporating local vegetation in the landscaping contributes to lowering upkeep and helps create an environment that is authentic to Ventura County.

The team designed the project to stringent seismic requirements, conceived to ensuring that patients can be treated at the hospital following a major earthquake.

The project is targeting LEED for Healthcare Silver certification. Building the new patient tower on a constrained infill site increased the facility’s density and ability to provide care without increasing the campus footprint. Sustainable design strategies include green roofs, skylights, and exterior canopies and screens. HOK and Clark Construction partnered to require and help implement LEED for Healthcare-focused training for all relevant trades.

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