Gresham Smith Tagged to Consolidate Pair of Lansing-Area Hospitals

By Roxanne Squires

EAST LANSING, Mich. — McLaren Health Care has tapped Gresham Smith as the architect for their current collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU) in creating a new healthcare campus.

In addition to the development of a campus master plan, the firm is providing planning, architecture and interior design services for the new $451 million McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital, a replacement teaching hospital, medical office building and cancer center.

The new hospital consolidates two Lansing-area hospitals and will be built along with the 250,000-square-foot medical office building, 32,000-square-foot cancer center and parking structure on a 40-acre site.

The 517,000-square-foot, 240-bed, nine-story greenfield facility will house medical/surgical units, orthopedics, general surgery, labor and delivery, inpatient psychiatric, an intensive care unit, an emergency department and radiology.

“This project has been in the work for five plus years, and what we do is bring clarity to the very complex issues of hospital architecture” said Steve Stokes, the lead on the project. “We had to go through a heavy process, applying the LEAN approach while taking two, old existing hospitals, and combining them. We went through an entire brain storming session with the leadership and came up with project goals.”

The project goals Stokes described includes creating a destination of choice for employees, caregivers and the public; building a national benchmark in the delivery of evidence based care, while incorporating LEAN principles and safety; achieving the highest return on investments; transforming the experience for patients, their families and caregivers. And lastly, fostering a continuous environment of learning through clinical research and innovation.

“This bridges McLaren’s relationship with Michigan State University,” said Stokes.

Another key focus of the design stresses the importance of intuitive wayfinding.

“Every time you go to facilities in and around the country, we find this to be a hot topic of conversation when it comes to clarity on where to go,” said Stokes. “With this facility, we took that key component and made a strong central point of place, the lobby. When people enter the space, it always has the same orientation. If you go from the first floor up to the second floor, and you’re looking out the direction you came in from.”

Stokes continued, explaining how there is one avenue for public circulation that’s segregated from patient and staff circulation. It works as a process of moving patients forward versus sending them back—helping decrease wait time.

“Separation of flow was critical as well as access to natural light,” said Stokes. “The other key component is the 24-hour front door in the Emergency Department, has its own access, own security features and shutdown protocol. It has it’s ‘own flow’, per se.” 

Gresham Smith has teamed with Southfield-based Harley Ellis Devereaux who will be providing engineering services and is the architect-of-record for the new hospital.

When fully complete, this comprehensive health care campus will be home to more than 1,000 physicians, researchers, educators and other members of the academic and medical team.

“The thing I’m most proud of having worked on this project so far is the brotherhood of the owner, contactor, team, and everyone coming together to find the means to the end while using a tight budget—which will serve Lansing for the next 50 years,” said Stokes.

Groundbreaking of this new facility took place in December 2018 and the team anticipates the project will be completed by 2022.