Tucson, Arizona

The Carondelet Foothills Surgery Center provides services to the rapidly expanding population of northwest Tucson. This facility was designed for a group of privately organized surgeons to stand out among surrounding traditional medical buildings.  The project was undertaken as a Design/Build venture between developer Michael R. Wattis, CDG Architects and Chestnut Construction.

The building facade is comprised of chocolate-colored exposed block contrast with lightly-colored stucco panels. The bright copper metal roof and steel shade structures create visual interest; masonry screen walls with vertical 8" openings provide  privacy to the building interior.  A "tower of windows" identifies the facility entrance and lobby - the nearly floor to ceiling window wall gives the lobby an expansive feeling.

The building site was long and thin, which initially appeared to be a negative factor, yet its ultimate impact was to allow for a long, centralized service corridor between the two served spaces.  Surgical suites and pre- and post-operative rooms were placed at the outside walls to allow for natural lighting; the nurse workstations, processing rooms and rest facilities are situated within the central corridor in close proximity to both surgeons and patients. Planning also allowed for a separate discharge lobby and pick-up area at the far end of the service wing so that patients need not re-visit the main lobby following surgery.

The lobby is a spacious area with a serene mix of colors, environmentally-inspired artwork and an abundance of natural light, creating a soothing atmosphere for waiting patients. The physicians requested that the waiting area have an adjoining room specifically designed for children. A low “kid-sized” arch spontaneously draws children to the space; a tempered glass wall and door allow parents visual as well as physical access to the space.  Brightly colored walls are complimented by playful patterns in the rubberized flooring material, selected specifically for child safety.  In addition to the customary television, a Dry Erase board was installed, covering two walls (a span of 60’) so that each child has the space to create their own mural. The children’s waiting area also has secure access to an outdoor covered patio for seasonal use.

Patient care and well-being were carefully considered when designing the surgical suites and pre- and post-operative areas.Typically, windows are excluded from these areas due to bacteria hazards.  Since natural light was very important to the tenant physicians, great care was used to design the window openings to meet state health requirements, assuring sterile conditions.  The windows were installed flush with the walls to eliminate the sill where bacteria would typically develop.

Principal Architect Frank Mascia FAIA, ACHA
Owner/Client Michael R. Wattis, Inc.
Contractor Chestnut Construction
Date Completed October 2005
Size of Project 14,010 SF New Construction on 1.97 acres
Construction Cost $2,934,664
Cost/Square Foot $210
Photos by John Hutzler