WESLEY CHAPEL — With its curved design and brightly lit atrium, the building that will soon emerge off Bruce B. Downs Boulevard looks like a concert hall or a five-star hotel.
But despite the glitz, it's a hospital.
When it opens in the next few years near the Shops at Wiregrass and the new Pasco-Hernando Community College campus, Wesley Chapel Medical Center will be a monument of its own.
Paul Macheske, director of health care design for Hunton Brady Architects, the Orlando-based firm that designed the 80-bed, 200,000-square-foot hospital, said company officials wanted the building to make a bold statement.
"They wanted it to be a Wesley Chapel landmark, to create a sense of place with a bold, timeless, recognizable design," said Macheske, whose firm also designed a new 27-bed hospital in Daytona Beach. That was the reason for the glassy, concave facade.
"As you drive past it, you very much recognize that this is Wesley Chapel Medical Center," he said.
Hospital officials recently released a rendering of the exterior of the three-story hospital, a nighttime shot that shows off the lighting inside the atrium.
The atrium provides a central point of community contact, similar to a hotel lobby. From there, people will be diverted to their various destinations such as labor/delivery/postpartum or surgery so that traffic is minimized.
The back area will include private patient rooms, each with foldout beds for family members. Rooms will all have pastoral views, with retention ponds and wetlands at every corner, as natural scenes have been shown to promote healing. The hospital's corporate parent, Adventist Health System, which is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, stresses healing of mind, body and spirit.
Like other new hospitals, Wesley Chapel will borrow an idea from Disney — a non-public corridor system for "backstage personnel" such as laundry and meal deliverers.
"A hospital is a place of healing so we wanted to create a place where people can get rest," Macheske said.