As part of an exciting stretch for Mount Sinai Medical Center (MSMC) just two weeks back, the health system cut the ribbon on its new Skolnick Surgical Tower and Hildebrandt Emergency Center and also welcomed first patients to the facility. The South Florida Business Times covered the exciting events and highlighted the dynamic new health facility and the value it brings to the Miami Beach region.
The opening of the new 340,000-sf surgical tower and ED is a transformational moment for MSMC as it equips them to enhance the care they bring to their patients and community for generations. Our team was proud to design the facility and work with MSMC leadership to realize their full vision for the project.
With the Skolnick Surgical Tower and Hildebrandt Emergency Center now open, we thought we’d share three exciting new features of the building.
1. An Iconic Building with One-of-a-Kind Views
The surgical tower expansion project was always envisioned as an opportunity to create a beautiful and transformative new centerpiece for the MSMC campus. The building’s sweeping façade is designed with compound curves instead of straight lines to help ensure its visual impact. These curves maximize spectacular views of surrounding Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline for patients, visitors and staff.
The building skin is comprised of durable precast concrete panels along three different axis, producing three-dimensional wall panels which change dramatically the aesthetics of the building as the strong Miami sun modulates the shadows cast throughout the day. While these panels cast an actively changing shadow on the exterior, the shadow helps keep the exterior glass of patient rooms – which run the full width of the room – in a gentle shade. This helps patients embrace the sun and vista without experiencing the harsh challenges of a strong sun.
The project also relies on timeless and contemporary materials and the incorporation of artwork both inside and out gives the new hospital a human-centric, museum-inspired aesthetic.
2. Remarkable Focus on Patient and Staff Experience
To create a patient-centered healing environment, MSMC’s new health building separates patient and public traffic from staff and support circulation, reduces noise and acoustic transmission to create a quieter atmosphere. and includes all private patient rooms with ample space for family and visitors. In total, the new emergency center spans 35,000 sf across 50 treatment bays, almost tripling the size of the previous facility, while the new surgical tower offers 154 patient rooms.
At the same time, staff enjoy a supportive and operationally-efficient environment that reduces the distances they need to travel during their work days, and empowers them with technological advances in the new ED and 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms. This focus helps MSMC recruit and retain leading physicians and surgeons from around the world.
“There is no question our surgical volume will be on the rise because we are recruiting more surgeons to our staff,” MSMC CEO Steven Sonenreich told the South Florida Business Times. “And as we recruit them and they tour the facilities on this campus, (this building) will be a great recruiting tool.”
3. Designed to Withstand Hurricanes and Natural Disasters
Given the tower’s unique location on the coastline, the entire facility is designed to embrace flexibility and resiliency, ensuring it will be able to provide access to care for generations to come. In fact, it was a design imperative, as Mount Sinai is the only hospital and emergency services provider located on Miami Beach and the barrier islands, doubling as a safe haven for the community during catastrophic weather events.
To that end, the surgical tower was built to withstand hurricane force winds in excess of 185 mph, 100-year flood water levels, and extended power outages. In fact, the hospital even withstood Hurricane Irma in fall 2017 with no significant damage, even while still in the midst of construction. Key to the building’s resiliency was ensuring all infrastructure systems—including electricity, gas lines, water, telecommunications, and storm water—were upgraded for redundancy. The project site was also elevated multiple feet to meet Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) flood level standards, which proves helpful during high tides and the especially high king tides, which can occur during new or full moons. Other resilient design features include locating critical patient care units on upper floors to avoid flooding, an emergency command center for the City of Miami Beach on the second floor, and an emergency department ambulance canopy that can accommodate an influx of emergency vehicles during natural or any other type of disaster.
The opening of a dynamic new project like MSMC’s new tower and expanded ED is a remarkable moment. We were thrilled to be on hand to watch the team cut the ribbon and take pride knowing this building will help countless people live healthier lives.