L.A. County Hospital Wins National Merit Award

By Eric Althoff

VALENCIA, Calif.—The Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, located in the Los Angeles suburb area of Valencia, has been honored with the National Award of Merit in the Healthcare Facilities category, which is awarded by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).

The hospital was first constructed in 1975, but in October 2019 a $151 million patient tower was added to the facility as part of the first phase of a master redesign plan.  At that time, the hospital announced that the addition had added 119 more patient beds as well as two additional surgery suites in the hospital’s Center for Women and Newborns.

Among the tower’s complement of services are a maternity ward that encompasses seven labor and delivery rooms, 22 post- and antepartum rooms, two C-section operating rooms, and three medical-surgical floors.  In addition, the tower is home to a brand-new kitchen and cafeteria space.

The new tower was designed by design-builder Bernards in conjunction with HMC Architects.  The firms said that their layout for the 160,000-square-foot, six-story patient tower was designed speficially with the patient experience in mind, but it also had a bit of a puzzle on its hands considering that the tower had to be effectively situated among three existing buildings already on the healthcare campus.  Accordingly, Bernards and HMC said they moved part of the foundation and “provided more square footage by cantilevering C-section rooms over an existing building.”

Furthermore, the uniqueness of the design addition of the new tower leaves open the door for future expansion.

The design also took an effort to ensure that the outside was incorporated into the interior look of the tower itself.  Accordingly, large windows in waiting areas and corridors allow in more sunlight and views of the outdoors, which the designers believe lessens the anxiety inherent in visiting a hospital.  Additionally, consultation rooms allow for views of the surrounding Santa Clarita Valley.

In a statement emailed to HCO News, Kirk Rose, HMC Architects’ chief practice officer, said that the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital represented an “intensely collaborative design-build process.”

“Risk was shared across all parties, from the architect to the general contractor to the subcontractors, and everybody made success of the project—not their individual interests—priority number one,” Rose said.  “Our team’s leadership philosophy encouraged complete open communication and engagement of all team members with each other, [the] owner and user groups.

“The result is a spectacular new tower that fits seamlessly into the existing hospital campus, and will serve California’s Santa Clarita Valley community now and for future generations.”

Because of the DBIA National Award of Merit in the Healthcare Facilities nod, the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital automatically becomes a nominee for the National Award of Excellence in the Healthcare Facilities category, which is the highest honor within each category.