Mark Trier, AIA,
Hardin Memorial Hospital North Tower | Elizabethtown, Kentucky
Hardin Memorial Hospital’s North Tower was constructed in 1954, with the most recent renovation to patient rooms occurring more than 30 years ago, and the hospital recognized a need to modernize its facilities. Hardin Memorial partnered with JRA Architects to develop a master plan to illuminate the best path forward. The master plan resulted in a recommendation of a renovation and expansion of the North Tower into a more modern, spacious and patient-focused space.
The project included the addition of two new floors that would work in harmony, both functionally and aesthetically, with the existing outpatient surgery and endoscopy center. Rooms were designed and constructed with specialized purposes in mind, including six patient isolation rooms and six bariatric and dialysis rooms. All patient rooms feature a customized demountable headwall system as well as an interior window for patient monitoring. Each floor was designed to include areas for practical use such as soiled utility, clean utility, medical prep, staff work, and storage areas. Two new elevators were integrated into the facility along with a mechanical penthouse on the roof above the fourth floor.
In addition to patient care, patient comfort was a significant design consideration. We re-imagined the interior space with a theme of “nature” as evidence-based design suggests a correlation between nature and the healing process. Natural stone and vinyl wood plank flooring were installed for a more home-like quality. Bright paint colors and images showcasing nature from local photographers cover the walls of the facility. Natural light was also employed whenever possible to create a welcoming sense of openness and health while providing patients sweeping views of the rural landscape. .