Set in a densely populated, urban residential neighborhood, the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) provides state-of-the-art healthcare to the residents of Erie County and Buffalo, NY. The hospital was constructed in 1971, and today, it stands as one of the busiest healthcare institutions in the region.
Through a generous donation from Russell J. Salvatore, ECMC put forth a plan to reimagine the main hospital and revamp its front entrance. The intent was to create a new, light filled entry pavilion that would serve as an inspiring and welcoming environment to everyone who entered the facility.
The CPL team was honored by the opportunity to provide architectural and interior design services for the nearly 50-year-old building, which was originally designed with precast concrete and a vertical curtainwall.
“Our design approach for the new entrance was to contrast the large mass of original precast concrete panels, which had you entering the building through a dark, almost forbidding, entry way,” said CPL Vice President, Mike Mistriner, AIA. “The goal was to design a gently compounded, curved glass façade to help bring more transparency and light into the new lobby.”
The final design takes advantage of the building’s vertical volume with the roof curving upward to a height of 50 feet. This design effect offers a continuous skylight that runs up the exterior wall and continues within the curved roof structure.
The 4,000 square-foot entry pavilion also features a central cascading light sculpture over the main reception desk. This fixture adds to the “community living room” feel, which was one of the hospital’s driving design goals.
With an emphasis on creating a comfortable and inviting public space with improved, easy access to the main elevators and newly installed escalators, ECMC’s new entrance is a testament to the hospital’s commitment to positively impacting each visitor’s experience.