Mercy Health – West Hospital

The new 250-bed Mercy Health–West Hospital is an extraordinary place for the delivery of healthcare, and not just because of the uplifting, transformational impact of its colorful glazed brick tile exterior. The consideration given to all aspects of the patient, family and staff experience sets this community hospital apart, and contributes to the difference Mercy Health makes for their patients. Strong connections between architecture and landscape – including the largest green roof in the state of Ohio – enhance the healing environment, while the hospital’s functional planning supports safety, efficiency and future flexibility.  A unique feature of this project is its visual transparency, which provides ease of wayfinding from the entry atrium through the hospital to support the patient and family experience.

The building design provides a strong visual statement that gives the new hospital a unique presence in its community. During the first half of the 20th century, Ohio was home to some of the world’s best ceramics companies. Inspired by this tradition of pottery production, designers created a unique mosaic exterior wall system – comprising 11 different colors and 19 different shapes of glazed brick. More than 167,000 bricks were locally manufactured, glazed in upstate New York, and then cast into insulating pre-cast concrete panels for the building’s exterior.

The blue-to-green color palette of the building skin was inspired by ceramics glazes, as well as the landform and color of the valleys and hills of the region. Within the context of a diverse landscape, the building uses a similar palette of reflective glazes, assembled in a custom gradient color application. When taken in the context of the sky and landscape, the architecture continually provides a new experience to building users, changing with the quality of light, the time of the day, and the seasons.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Size: 645,000 square feet
Completion date: November 2013
Design Architect: AECOM with Mic Johnson, FAIA, lead designer
Architect of Record: Champlin Architecture
Construction Manager: Turner Construction Company
Awards and Recognition:
Best in Class-Healthcare, Brick in Architecture Awards, 2014
Best Project of the Year, ENR Midwest Awards, 2014
Best Project – Healthcare, ENR Midwest Awards, 2014
Best of Category – Hospitals, IIDA National Healthcare Interior Design Competition, 2014
Merit Award (green roof), Ohio ASLA Design Awards, 2014
Design Award, Society of American Registered Architects, 2014
Merit Award, Association of Licensed Architects, 2014
Honorable Mention, Healthcare Design magazine Design Awards, 2014
Healthcare Market Award, Shaw Contract Group, Design Is…Awards, 2014
FAB Award – Healthcare, IIDA Northland Chapter, 2014
Citation – Unbuilt, Modern Healthcare magazine Design Awards, 2012

Mercy Health Goes Bold and Beautiful” by Anne DiNardo, Healthcare Design August 2014 cover story
Room to Bloom” by Anne DiNardo, Healthcare Design August 2014
The Making of an Exterior at Mercy Health West” by Anne DiNardo, Healthcare Design August 2014
A New Standard,” by John Reinan, Architecture Minnesota, November/December 2014
Best Projects – Project of the Year: Mercy Health-West Hospital,” by John Gregerson, ENR Midwest, November 17, 2014