Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Medical Tower II and Pedestrian Bridge
Page has been designing healthcare projects for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital for over two decades. Two of the most recent projects on its main campus in Albany include the Medical Tower II, which houses Phoebe’s expanding cancer center, and the Centennial Sky Bridge, the first timber bridge in Albany in 70 years, and the only timber bridge in the world that spans between two buildings.
An earlier project, the 195,000-square-foot Medical Tower I, incorporated a 60,000-square-foot comprehensive cancer treatment and research center into the two lower levels of the eight-story building. Within fifteen years, the center’s outpatient volume tripled. When planning the 170,000-square-foot Medical Tower II, the design team directly connected the first three levels of the two towers. As a result, the delivery of the clinical services was more efficient and the cancer center was able to expand onto two full floors. The center of excellence, which treats over 1,300 new cases annually, is in clinical and academic partnership with Duke University and the Medical College of Georgia. The center brings in the newest proven technologies, and increases the facility’s ability to attract pharmaceutical based research opportunities.
Two floors are dedicated to medical oncology and education; one floor serves Women’s Breast Health; two floors house oncology physician offices; and 23 hotel guest rooms are provided for patients and their families. The facility includes 25 examination rooms, 40 infusion-chemotherapy stations, a bone marrow transplant room, a laboratory, an ambulatory surgery center, pharmacy and an area set aside for patient education.
The central waiting areas overlook a green and white tiled fountain which cascades down to the lowest level from the multi-story lobby. A circular light-well brings in natural light to the on-deck oncology waiting and control stations and illuminates the blue glass healing wall. Soothing colors throughout the space are used to compliment the natural daylight and earth tones complement the water feature. The interior scheme employs both cool and warm colors as well as a variety of textures found in nature. The variations in colors were used to assist with way finding and in distinguishing functional areas, while maintaining a timeless link to the hospital’s one-hundred year history.
An integral part of the campus plan is a pedestrian bridge that leads visitors, staff and patients from the new campus parking structures into the Tower II. The hospital wanted a connector inspired by the work of Horris King, a well-known African American bridge engineer in the early 20th century. Several of Georgia’s covered bridges were built by King including one, the Flint River Bridge, which was located less than a mile from the Phoebe Hospital. The solution was a modern take on a traditional heavy timber bridge. The Centennial truss bridge, which spans 97 feet between two stone piers, is made of regionally farmed heavy timber, a 12 degree canted, low-e glass enclosure and a copper roof. On the interior, light from the sun casts a shadowed path on the wood floor highlighting the way for patients, staff and visitors.