Northwest Medical Center Oro Valley
Oro Valley, Arizona

Project Facts

Location: Oro Valley, Arizona
Market: Healthcare
Size: 243,500 SF
Services: Programming, Planning, Architecture, Interiors
Scope: New Acute Care Hospital

Northwest Medical Center of Oro Valley, located in a northern suburb of Tucson, is a referral hospital to the tertiary care hospital, Northwest Medical Center of Tucson. This project entailed the design of a new four-story, greenfield acute care hospital of 96 private patient rooms and a full complement of hospital ancillary and support services, including surgery, imaging, emergency and laboratory services.

The design team’s challenge for this new hospital was to create a facility that would be adaptable and flexible, one that could grow with the community and one that promoted wellness and healing. The hospital was the first major structure in a planned community development. Gould Turner Group participated in public meetings that were conducted to share information and gain community support.

Local code and zoning requirements were strict and involved compliance with community standards of exterior materials and aesthetics, as well as night lighting restrictions. Additionally, the City of Oro Valley mandated that this new facility spend one percent of its construction budget on public art. As a result, an ambitious collaboration between owner, design team, community, and city officials began early in the planning process and continued throughout the post-occupancy phase of this project.

Improving operational and staff productivity was a focal point for the project team. Discussions with the nursing staff led to a redesigned nursing unit with resource substations included on every floor. A wireless communications system was installed throughout the facility giving staff members the ability to contact each other directly and avoid noisy overhead paging that increases patient anxiety.

Flexibility was built into spaces, such as the surgery suite where all operating rooms are a standard size, each large enough to meet the space requirements for use as a major OR. Brainstorming sessions with contractors led to the development of decentralized air handling for the nursing wings, reducing cost and providing for less disruptive maintenance.

The design considered future expansion in both vertical and horizontal directions. The fourth floor of the facility was initially left as shell space but has since been built out as a nursing unit. Ancillary wings were designed so expansion could happen “organically” through the extension of hallways where possible. All major ancillary departments, such as surgery, emergency, imaging, etc. are located on exterior walls for ease of future expansion.

Community members expressed a need for the convenience of a nearby hospital but wanted assurance the building would blend with its surroundings and not obstruct their views of the beautiful Catalina Mountains. The exterior is an example of community-influenced architecture, featuring a color palette based on three tones of a single color derived from natural colors of the site.

Photography by Creative Sources Photography, Inc.

Contributions to Project Success

Conducted public meetings to obtain community feedback and approval.

Complied with area night-lighting restrictions.

One percent of the construction budget devoted to public art.

Incorporated nursing resource sub-stations for staff efficiency.

Decentralized air handling units for less disruptive maintenance.

Designed for both horizontal and vertical expansion.

Awarded Honorable Mention for the 2005 ASHE Vista Partnering Award

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