Providence Hospital

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  • hospital tower and base hospital tower and base
  • view of tower arches in construction view of tower arches in construction
  • night view over lagoon of tower and base night view over lagoon of tower and base
  • Providence floor plan Providence floor plan
  • tower view looking upwards tower view looking upwards

One of the last major hospital complexes designed by BGA, this hospital was built in Mobile, Alabama in the late 1980's. Like the other hospitals of BGA, the design featured an eight-story bed tower with 350 beds atop a three-story base, and utilized the "bed-cluster pod" with groups of beds clustered around a central nurse's station. By eliminating long corridors, the pod increased the ability of the nurses to see patients and get to them easily.

Unlike any other hospital done by the office, the design for Providence featured three pods per floor, with the fourth area reserved for service and vertical circulation. By the time Goldberg began work on the design for Providence Hospital he had completed a number of designs for other healthcare facilities and had refined much of his thinking on the subject, First introduced in his design for St. Joseph Hospital, the bed cluster was now a feature of most of his hospital projects.

The bed tower was built as a concrete shell, able to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes. The resolution between the tower and the base was uniquely handled at Providence as the "draped structure" of the tower comes to the ground independently of the base building and creates its own abstract and poetic interface. The combination of curved shapes and soaring structure created unique perspectives from views on the ground level. This concept, originally explored in early concepts for Prentice, was only realized at Providence. It was also considered for later apartment towers in Chicago but was unrealized there.

The site planning at Providence is one of the more successful efforts of BGA - well integrated with a serene and bucolic landscape. A small lake for storm water retention was created by damming a natural gully on the site.