The Weinberg Building

University of Maryland Medical Systems

Baltimore, MD, USA University of Maryland Medical Systems DCI, Architect-of-Record; Perkins & Will, Medical Planner Health + Science 375,000 ft2 / 35,000 m2

The new Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building provides 375,000 square feet of new and consolidated facilities for the University of Maryland Medical System medical center in downtown Baltimore. The medical center’s emergency services are a statewide resource, providing access to every medical and surgical specialty and treating patients transported from throughout Maryland as well as from the surrounding Baltimore community. In addressing the medical center’s expansion and modernization needs, the program for the Weinberg Building comprises 54 private Emergency Department (ED) examination rooms, 19 Operating Rooms (ORs), expanded diagnostic imaging department, and a women's and children's center featuring state-of-the-art obstetrics facilities, neo-natal intensive care and pediatric acute/ICU care, as well as a patient resource center, employee education center, chapel and food court.

KPF’s design emphasizes a patient-focused environment while resolving complex programmatic and site relationships. Adjoining diverse architectural styles within the hospital complex, the mass of the new building defines an urban street wall along Lombard Street: the lower three floors, housing diagnostic and treatment facilities, are aligned with the base of the adjacent building, while the upper floors, housing surgical and medical ICUs and acute care units, are set back and respond to the scale of the complex as a whole. A vertical, glazed stair tower marks the emergency entry and symbolizes the hospital to those approaching from the west. Brick is used to relate the new building to its context, and is cast in gridded, lightweight panels to create a modern expression. These gestures help to unify the hospital complex while giving a distinct identity to the new building.

A seven-story glass-enclosed interior atrium serves as the focus of both the new and existing buildings and enhances the facility’s inherent mission to act as a healing environment through the introduction of natural daylight, landscaped garden terraces, and a fountain. Linking an array of new, impressive, state-of-the-art patient care areas (including one of the country’s most technologically advanced surgical facilities), an expansive diagnostic radiology department, and a consolidated Emergency Department with separate sections for adult and pediatric patients, the atrium functions as a waiting area for visitors and patients and provides access to all departmental areas.

Circulation is resolved by separating patient, staff and service movement on different levels. The sloping site is used to separate different types of site circulation: vehicles arrive under a covered ED entry with separation for public and ambulances screened from public view by a wall. Visitors and staff enter the facility above the ED drop-off area to join an interior "street" that provides access to a chapel, conference areas, food court, and a patient resource library.

“The new space gives us a lot of flexibility, so that our staff can take the best possible care of patients…The rooms are spacious and private, and family members can sit with patients without getting in anyone’s way. Also, we have the most modern technology for improved diagnostic and clinical care, putting us ahead of the curve." says Brian Browne, MD, head of emergency medicine at the University of Maryland Medical Center and professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Image 1 / 4 | © Woodruff Brown