Northside Hospital Cherokee
Northside Hospital Cherokee
Metro Meets the Mountains
Without room for expansion, Northside Hospital Cherokee needed a new facility that could provide a space to deliver its services to the community, merge separate and distinct functions within one medical center and allow for future expansion. The replacement campus sits atop a ridgeline at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and includes 105 inpatient beds within the hospital tower and podium, Women’s Center and medical office building.
Connecting with the community and landscape, the design team integrated Cherokee County’s slogan, “Where the Metro meets the Mountains,” as the concept to respect the legacy of the mountain ridge and embrace a balance between what is cleared and what is left natural.
On approaching the hospital via Interstate 575 south from Atlanta, a line-of-site reference plane — the main axis — connects the interstate and the entry boulevard. From the interstate, the long faces of the building are visible through the foliage as a first look just before the exit. A loop through the foothills leads to the campus entrance, truly merging the Metro and Mountain aspects of Cherokee County.
Key features of Cherokee include:
- Mountains surrounding the new campus were formed when tectonic plates collided, pulled apart or sheared. This concept influenced the interaction between the forms housing each function. The tower, podium and Women’s Center functions collide, pull apart and shear past one another, leaving each with its own identity.
- The tower and podium house diagnostic and treatment functions, medical and surgical inpatient beds and treatment and recovery space. The Women’s Center, a regional leader in mother and baby care, hosts labor and delivery, and postpartum care inpatient beds.
- Patient rooms integrate family into the healing process, along with accessible bathrooms, inspiring views and on-stage/off-stage capabilities.
- Multipurpose spaces and family lounges, located at the center of the tower, directly outside the public elevators and at the ends of the tower, are used as places of respite outside the room.
- “Metro” is realized in the tower. A curtain wall and precast panel resemble the machined and slick exterior of the city. The Women’s Center captures “Mountains” with an earthy and textured façade that is horizontal and grounded. A galleria space in front of the Women’s Center connects it to hospital functions both visually and spatially.
- The glass façade is transparent to allow ample natural daylighting. The lower eastern sunrise fills the space with warm, dappled light in the autumn and winter mornings. The glass element also houses all the horizontal public circulation so that guests and staff can navigate through the facility by relating to the natural environment. Natural, locally-quarried stone pilasters extend from the exterior to the interior.
- A rooftop terrace graces the top of the Women’s Center. This area and the first 30 feet outside the patient rooms on level four are low-maintenance green roofs.