Located in San Diego, United States, University of California, San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center – Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Expansion was designed by Childs Mascari Warner Architects, The objective of the project was to create more pre and post surgery bays within the existing space, which was accomplished in part through a ‘swing bed’ concept. A custom art glass window separates the pre-surgery area from the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit area. Nurses are able to view patients in both areas. At the same time, recovering patients are unable to be distracted by activity in the nearby pre-surgery room, due to strategically placed textures in the glass design. This ability for nurses to view both areas also allows the facility to ‘swing’ from pre-surgery to post-op, and vice versa, accommodating the flow of patients throughout the day.
The phased 8,000 sq ft remodel and expansion of the existing Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) creates a naturally calming place for patients to awake. Conceptually, this ‘awakening’ is accomplished through the architectural and interior design elements, as well as incorporating natural light through clerestory windows and skylights.
The renovation provided 18 recovery / pre-operative beds and 3 Stage II recovery recliners. The renovation was completed in two phases to allow for continued operation of the existing PACU. Another part to this project was the redesign of the hospital’s eastern building facade. Previously, the elevation was completely flat without articulation. A curtain wall and a sculptural steel mesh screen structure were added to allow controlled light to enter the PACU, define the existing emergency department’s main entry, and energise the hospital’s image.