The Hospital’s mission was to project 21st century innovation in the treatment of heart and cardiovascular diseases in a design that establishes a sensitive balance between the needs of Boston’s health sciences institutions and its residential neighbors.
In addition to advancing Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s national reputation as a leader in cardiovascular care and research, client goals for the Shapiro Cardiovascular Center included the consolidation of all cardiovascular services into a world-class facility—enhancing patient-centered care, providing a flexible environment, supporting the research and teaching mission of Brigham and Women’s and promoting multidisciplinary collaboration among staff, physicians and administrators.
At one end of the spectrum, this internationally acclaimed academic medical center is situated among the most prestigious health-science and higher-education institutions nationwide; at the other end, an intimate residential community. The 420,000 sf state-of-the-art Center enhances BWH’s stature as one of the world’s leading medical centers. Its strong connectivity to the existing hospital building and campus is the culmination of thoughtful planning and responsive architectural articulation. By consolidating cardiovascular services, the center improves the patient experience, yielding operational efficiencies and encouraging communication and collaboration among the specialists.
The design team worked in close partnership with facility administrators at BWH to develop a set of guiding principles that would drive the development of this transformational program. The Image of the Center would project the cutting edge, state-of-the-art clinical care that is delivered within—ultimately becoming an icon within the Boston architectural landscape. The Scale of the building needed to respond to its context. While the 10-story Brigham and Women’s Cardiovascular Center is prominent when viewed from a distance, the articulation of the massing and building envelope reduce the scale as one approaches. Connectivity with the existing campus would be essential in order for the new Cardiovascular Center to achieve its fullest potential. The continuous flow of patients, families, staff and the public between the new Center and the existing campus is accommodated by connections at three levels. Integrated spaces of differing scales throughout the facility create a “sense of place,” offering a positive experience for patients and their families, increased opportunities for interaction, and an inspiring place to work. Creating a building that demonstrates Brigham and Women’s commitment to the environment was an equally important guiding principle. The development of the building envelope, infrastructure systems, interior finishes and construction methods were all informed by Sustainable Design best practices. The 420,000 sf, 10-story Center provides technologically advanced operating rooms for cardiac and vascular surgery, 136 beds for cardiovascular patients, and outpatient cardiovascular clinics. While clearly a free-standing facility, the new Center remains connected to the existing 1,500,000 sf hospital complex on several planes. Three below-grade floors house operating rooms, radiology, pathology laboratories, and support spaces, while publicly oriented facilities at the first and second floors, including a café, conference space, and family support spaces, establish an identity for the Center and create a sense of place in the campus and in the larger context. The glass-and-steel building is integrated with the existing hospital by a level 2 bridge across Francis Street, a continuation of the “Pike,” the hospital’s primary circulation pathway.
The Center’s exterior reflects its important role as the hospital’s Brookline Avenue gateway. Opportunities for natural lighting are maximized, and lower levels are as visibly open to the public as possible. Along Vining Street, the building’s scale is reduced to resonate with the scale of neighboring housing. Additional construction at the hospital’s existing Amory Building portion refines the 75 Francis Street entry, improves wayfinding, and enhances the hospital’s overall image.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Shapiro Cardiovascular Center was built in accordance with the Green Guide for Health Care—an accomplishment which earned the facility Silver LEED certification and the distinction of being New England's first LEED-certified hospital. The Center is designed to standards established for Silver Certification in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy-efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.