Jackson West Case Study
A Next-Generation Healthcare Facility Focused on Wellness and Patient Comfort
Jackson West Medical Center, Doral, Florida
The Jackson West Medical Center, a massive new healthcare campus in the Miami metro area showcases the bright, natural look of New Leaf™ Performance Veneers in the gleaming sunshine of its José Milton Memorial Hospital’s main entrance lobby.
CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT OF HEALING & WELLNESS
The Jackson West Medical Center is a sprawling 27-acre campus located adjacent to the Palmetto Expressway. Designed by the Miami studio of international architectural firm Perkins & Will, the campus includes a six-story, 100-bed facility known as the José Milton Memorial Hospital, an adult and pediatric emergency room, surgical facilities, and specialty physician clinics. According to project owner Jackson Health System, the medical campus was designed to provide high-quality healthcare in Miami County’s quickly expanding neighborhoods in Westchester, Sweetwater, Hialeah, Miami Lakes and Doral, where the campus is located.
“Our goal was simple: to build a beautiful, comforting, state-of-the-art environment where patients and their loved ones feel safe and cared for like family,” says Eddie Borrego, senior vice president and CEO of the Jackson West Medical Center, “and where our caregivers could focus on what matters most – our patients.”
Architizer, which awarded Perkins & Will an Architizer A+ Award for the project in 2020, noted an even loftier ambition for the design: “The goal for the project was to transform the way people see hospitals.”
One of the primary ways Perkins & Will accomplished these goals—both figuratively and literally—was by designing a predominantly glass facade across campus facilities that invites the beauty of the Florida skyline inside. As more and more healthcare facilities prioritize patient comfort, the welcoming spaces and thoughtful design of campuses like Jackson West are setting a high bar for the patient experience.
The campus hospital’s main entrance is a primary example of such an experience. From afar, the main entrance resides within a shining, multi-level structure finished in glass panels that reflects the city’s bright blue sky and breeze-blown palm trees. Inside the main entrance, the lobby and reception area offer an equally spectacular view of the Miami area skyline.
To complement the natural beauty all around, Perkins & Will chose a minimalist white palette for the floors, ground-level walls, high ceilings and supports. New Leaf Performance Veneers lift the eye to the level above, where Quarter-Sawn White Oak wall panels in a Natural stain and Matte Finish angle outward, accordion-style, to create a gesture with dimension and movement. Each cluster of zig-zagging New Leaf wall panels alternates with a plain white wall panel topped with a glass wall that provides a peek into the level above. As the day’s sun beams into the main entrance lobby, the matte finish of the veneer works in harmony with the matte-white color palette to eliminate glare while taking in the fullness of the comforting natural light.
LET THE SUNSHINE IN
Because the main entrance to the José Milton Memorial Hospital features an exterior wall made almost entirely of glass, the materials used for the design palette in the lobby area had to be fade-resistant, making New Leaf an ideal choice. New Leaf is three times more fade-resistant and two times more water-resistant than traditional veneer—critical performance features for the hot, humid, and exceptionally sunny Miami climate.
Another New Leaf performance feature that makes it a reliable option for healthcare environments is that it is easy to clean and disinfect without losing its attractive finish. In tests performed by Wilsonart’s research and development group, lab technicians applied a variety of disinfecting agents to various New Leaf finishes. These disinfectants included hypochlorite-based disinfectants like Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaner and accelerated hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants like OXIVIR(r) TB. After testing New Leaf finishes with 16-hour exposures and rinsing with water, the veneers showed little or no effect. (View complete test results here.)
Neil Gavin of Baron Manufacturing, the fabricator that supplied New Leaf Performance Veneers for the main entrance lobby, was happy to work with New Leaf, and he frequently recommends substituting the product for other specified veneer products because of its consistent quality and its availability.
“We work on a lot of New Leaf projects,” said Gavin. “There are good lead times, usually around two weeks, and the product is prefinished and comes with an edge band. That reduces the amount of time it takes us to complete fabrication. We also fabricate and store product in house so that it’s ready when our general contractors need it. So we know we can be ready for our GCs and that they won’t have to wait to get their product.”
A PERFECT FIT
The beautiful, warm aesthetics of New Leaf made it a key piece of the Jackson West design palette. But its durability and water resistance offer performance that can withstand the demands of a high use of a healthcare environment—and keep it looking as attractive years from now as it does today.
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