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How Eskenazi Health Is Healing Mind, Body and Soul

Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital | Indianapolis
1.3 million sq. ft. / 120,775 sq. m.
Building Better Healthcare Awards – Best International Development
ASLA St. Louis Chapter Award of Merit – Design – Built
ASLA St. Louis Chapter Award of Merit – Landscape Architecture Design
Project Facts

After deeming the buildings on its nearly 150-year-old academic medical center beyond renovation, Eskenazi Health negotiated a land swap with Indiana University. Eskenazi traded its outdated facilities for a large parcel of land just west of downtown Indianapolis. This exchange gave Eskenazi the space it needed to build a state-of-the-art, patient-friendly, 1.3-million-sq.-ft. hospital and health campus. Eskenazi’s goals for the new medical center were to promote prevention, health and wellness while providing an uplifting, dignified care experience.

Eskenazi’s respect for the health and wellness of the community is visible in the high quality of its new six-building (plus a parking garage) medical center. The 37-acre campus, which is one of the world’s largest LEED Gold healthcare campuses, includes a 315-bed hospital, 100-bed emergency department, 275-room outpatient center and a faculty office building. In addition to setting a new standard for public hospitals, the architecture of the campus stands alongside that of the city’s libraries and museums and creates a new civic icon.

HOK’s design team was committed to providing patients and their families—as well as Eskenazi’s physicians and medical support staff—with the best possible environments for positive health outcomes.

"Our focus at Eskenazi Health is on promoting health in all its dimensions. We view this environmentally friendly hospital campus as a statement of our commitment to those we serve now as well as our commitment to generations to come." — Lisa E. Harris , CEO, Eskenazi Health

Health-enhancing views to the outdoors and clear wayfinding make it easy for visitors to navigate the building and grounds. Strategically placed windows in patient rooms and visitor areas bring in sunshine and the natural environment, creating a bright, airy feeling. The interior materials are simple, clean and easy to maintain.

Open plazas, landscaped gardens, water features, Indiana limestone and an extensive public art program create moments of joy. During the warmer months, the hospital hosts a farmer’s market for the community in the main courtyard.

A highly efficient plan enables the new hospital to serve 20 percent more patients than in the old facility—in less square footage.

Air Quality and Infection Control

To help protect patients, family members and caregivers from being infected by airborne pathogens, the HVAC system for the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and the associated ambulatory care building use 100 percent outdoor air. This innovative HVAC system draws in fresh air and then treats, conditions and filters it before the air is used once and exits the buildings. Using 100 percent outdoor air reduces the risk of contaminants in exhaust air being re-entrained into the building while improving indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

In the hospital’s atrium lobby, a displacement ventilation air system enhances indoor air quality and cuts energy use. This system introduces large amounts of slow-moving fresh air in the occupied space, forcing the warmer waste air to rise toward the ceiling and be exhausted out of the building.


Eskenazi Health challenged HOK to create a biophilic design that promotes both human health and holistic sustainability. The team sought to balance the complex technology of modern medicine with the body’s inherent need for an environment that supports rest, reduces stress and restores health from within.

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