St. Joseph's Health System Breaks Ground on New Critical Care Facility in New Jersey, Inaugurating Phase III of Francis Cauffman's $250 Million Master Plan

On Thursday, November 12, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System (SJHS) broke ground for a new, $100-million, 230,000-sq.-ft. Critical Care Building (CCB), launching the expansion and renovation of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in downtown Paterson, New Jersey. The project is part of the hospital's plan to improve its services and revitalize the urban area.

Paterson, NJ, November 21, 2009 --( On Thursday, November 12, St. Joseph’s Healthcare System (SJHS) broke ground for a new, $100-million, 230,000-sq.-ft. Critical Care Building (CCB), launching the expansion and renovation of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in downtown Paterson. The master plan and the CCB, both designed by architecture firm Francis Cauffman, will upgrade the hospital’s services and focus on revitalizing the city’s economic health.

The CCB increases the 600-bed hospital’s efficiency and greatly increases its public presence in the region. When it is completed in 2012, the ground floor will house an expanded emergency room, designed to accommodate 125,000 visits annually, with separate entrances for the pediatric and adult emergency departments and a 50,000-sq.-ft. addition to the Level Two Regional Trauma Center. The upper level will have 12 operating rooms and two levels of cardiac, surgical, and critical and intensive care units.

The CCB replaces three buildings and a parking garage on the existing campus. Overall, the hospital expansion project adds approximately 655,000 sq. ft. of new and renovated space; in addition to the CCB, the master plan relocates the hospital’s existing entrance, adds a new lobby, and renovates the interior spaces of the hospital. Work has already started on the new lobby and renovation for a new conference center, boardroom, and physician lounge.

"The groundbreaking for the Critical Care Building at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center marks a major step forward in St. Joseph's Healthcare System's expansion and renovation project,” said William McDonald, CEO of SJHS. “The construction of the new Critical Care Building is one element of a multi-phase facilities plan that will enable physicians and staff to provide expanded high quality care in state-of-the-art facilities as St. Joseph's continues to respond to the health care needs of the region."

“With the groundbreaking for the Critical Care Building, St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center brings state-of-the-art facilities to the 142-year-old hospital, which is a lynchpin of the local community,” said James Crispino, President of Francis Cauffman. “At a time when both healthcare and the economy are at the center of the national conversation, we are proud to be helping the hospital and city to thrive in the future.”

Francis Cauffman’s master plan supports SJHS’s medical and teaching activities, and it also helps the City of Paterson to create safer streets, opportunities for private development, and affordable housing in a distressed economic area.

The master plan includes a range of new buildings adjacent to the hospital campus: a public parking garage, a hotel, an office building, a transit station, affordable housing, and a high-rise apartment building for local residents and medical students. The City of Paterson has simultaneously embarked on streetscape improvements around the campus that will include a new public park and a community center; SJHS has also contracted with a private developer to build an adjacent, City-operated parking structure.

The CCB is the key node in this plan. Its two interlocking elliptical forms can be seen from I-80, which passes just to the north of the site. The curves of the new building are raised up on a plinth and provide a contrast to the angular forms of the existing brick campus buildings. The plinth is clad in horizontal metal panels, whereas the upper floors are mostly clad in glass of various translucencies that provides patient privacy. The glass patterns also scale down the large volume of the building.

The new two-story lobby reaches out to the surrounding neighborhood and is connected directly to a proposed parking garage and future hotel by a sweeping entrance road. Clerestory windows will bring light indoors; rich variegated bands of wood warm the interior spaces. A suspended glass globe under a skylight and an interactive media wall provide a strong focal point. The women’s and children’s waiting area is a large open ellipse, while an enclosed elliptical space provides a flexible meeting area for the hospital and community.

The master plan phase also took into account ways that the system could be altered to improve public health outcomes. Francis Cauffman undertook independent research in the local population to ensure that the design for the new medical center corresponded with the community it was to serve. This research helped SJHS to plan for comprehensive healthcare specifically targeted to the needs of Paterson’s residents.

About Francis Cauffman
Francis Cauffman, an award-winning architecture firm with offices in New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, has supported its clients since 1954 with innovative architecture, planning, and interior design services. The practice is recognized for being on the leading edge of new investigations in healthcare, academic research and teaching, corporate research, corporate and advanced technology, and government and justice planning and design. Francis Cauffman has a staff of 130 architects, planners, and interior designers and is active in 20 states and 3 countries. Francis Cauffman’s clients include St. Michaels Medical Center in Newark, Continuum Health Partners, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, Mount Sinai, and Columbia University Medical Center.

Francis Cauffman
Tami Hausman