New Hospital Tower at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center Opens

Sharp Ocean View Tower Chula Vista | SmithGroup

Today SmithGroup celebrates the ribbon-cutting of the new Ocean View Tower at the Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center in Chula Vista, California, located south of the city of San Diego. On January 14, the 197,000-square-foot, $244 million hospital tower will welcome its first patients and officially open to the public.

The Ocean View Tower, designed by SmithGroup and built in collaboration with Hensel Phelps and AVRP Studios, is a seven-story inpatient bed tower that is the first step in realizing the Sharp Chula Vista Master Plan and meeting the hospital’s need for additional beds and operating rooms.

“Our design was inspired by the new tower’s location, perched high on a hillside overlooking San Diego and the Pacific beyond,” says Bonnie Khang-Keating, director of SmithGroup’s San Diego and Los Angeles offices. “The Ocean View Tower at Sharp Chula Vista exemplifies its community in an accessible, transparent design that evokes a feeling of refuge and healing.”

Conceived as a “city on a hill,” the tower is designed to make the most of its panoramic ocean and mountain views while making the site more transparent and accessible to the Chula Vista community. Metal paneling and glazing wrap the tower’s spire. Beautiful as a day-lit metallic structure, the spire can be illuminated from within to create a radiant beacon.

Family and patient spaces such as family rooms, waiting areas, cafes and lounge spaces on each floor occupy the rounded form in order to maximize views. Similarly, patient rooms were located to take advantage of light and views to the east and west. A rooftop dining room with full-height windows and a large outdoor terrace occupies the entire seventh floor, providing a place of respite and gathering for family members, patients and staff.  

The tower will add 106 private patient rooms; six large operating rooms, including the South Bay’s only hybrid room, which allows for advanced surgical and imaging procedures in the same room; and many more services designed to meet the needs of San Diego’s fastest-growing region.

Taking cues from hospitality design, the tower feels luxurious without being extravagant. The two-story main entry atrium is a grand, calm and welcoming space. Throughout the tower, furniture and fixtures are primarily made of natural materials in sophisticated neutral colors and textures.

The planning and design of the new bed tower fully supports Sharp HealthCare's commitment to being a Highly Reliable Organization, putting in place highly reliable systems, structures, processes and behaviors to achieve zero defects and zero harm to staff, patients and families. This philosophy is evident in the separate corridors and elevators that promote proper material handling and separate patient and staff movements, team-based collaboration spaces as well as private space for focused work, clear sightlines and intuitive wayfinding.

“Our goal has always been to provide the people of the South Bay with the latest in proven medical technology along with compassionate experts who provide the excellence of care that defines Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center,” says Pablo Velez, PhD, RN, Chief Executive Officer of Sharp Chula Vista. “The opening of the new tower is our way of continuing to ensure that world-class care will always be close to home for the entire community.”

SmithGroup’s Los Angeles and San Diego offices provided integrated design services including architectural design, interior design, medical planning, building envelope design and lighting design. The design-build team included Hensel Phelps as Contractor, and local architect AVRP Studios.

Other design-build team members include Michael Baker International (San Diego, CA) as civil engineer, Degenkolb Engineers (San Diego, CA) as structural engineer, Spurlock Landscape Architects (San Diego, CA) as landscape architect, EXP (San Diego, CA) as mechanical, electrical, plumbing engineer and audiovisual and security consultant, and IMEG (San Diego, CA) as medical equipment consultant.

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