Bringing world-class healthcare to a community with deep local roots
The new 108-bed Penn State Health (PSH) Hampden Medical Center is PSH’s first greenfield community hospital operating separately from the main campus of the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. The architecture is inspired by the surrounding rolling hills carved by the Susquehanna river basin, using transparency, reflectivity, and rhythm of façade patterns to recall the beauty and physics of river geographies.
The hospital is set alongside the Susquehanna River and a ridge portion of the Appalachian Trail, providing stunning views of the rolling hillsides. The design is inspired by the many ways water flows through the hillsides of Pennsylvania. The glass facade also reflects the hills of the Appalachian Trail and uses vertical fins that catch sunlight to ‘show’ the bends and slowing pace of the building flow. The interiors also followed this inspiration: A natural color palette, with a balance of warm and cool colors, is used throughout. The flow of the nearby river inspires the curvilinear, wood ceiling in the lobby and waiting areas that provide respite for patients and visitors. Light fixtures and furniture also have flowing curves and bends.
Hospital services include an emergency department, complex surgical capabilities, full service labor and delivery, specialty inpatient services, imaging and lab services, and more. The Hampden medical center will serve as both an advanced medical facility and community hospital. It is easily accessible to the local and surrounding communities via regional highway 81. A collaborative medical staff workforce will be used, with partnerships between Penn State Health physicians as well as private local community clinicians.
Artwork throughout the building was selected by an intentionally diverse, 14-member community group who researched artwork that would resonate with patients, visitors and staff alike and carefully chose each of the 400 pieces throughout the hospital. The group was made up of people who are engaged in the education, business, faith, medicine and public service sectors to provide a spectrum of local representation. Penn State Health recognized that many people don’t see themselves represented in hospitals, and that doing so through artwork was a way to create a more inclusive and welcoming space that serves such broad swaths of the community.
The project will exude a high level of care and the technology that PSH is known for combined with the convenience and neighborhood engagement of a community hospital. Our team implemented multiple strategies to achieve these goals with a focus on flexibility; the project implemented CannonDesign’s Universal Grid to provide maximum adaptability to accommodate growth and evolving care models for the future.