The healing property of natural light is infused throughout this patient-focused building. Nestled within the rolling hills amidst a magnificent backdrop of Virginia’s mountains, Johnston Memorial Hospital’s contemporary architecture takes its design cues from an onsite cancer center. Its vertical, five-story atrium of glass walls makes the space transparent. Forming a strong connection to the building’s exterior of natural stone and brick, the stone is brought into the atrium lobby, which features a grand stair that connects the first and second levels.

All floors have balconies with glass railings that overlook the atrium. This lobby feature serves two purposes: natural light is brought into all levels, and the atrium acts as a landmark for wayfinding purposes. The ICU waiting room on the third floor provides a calming environment with a fireplace and a view to the atrium on one side, as well as access to a balcony on the adjoining side. Meanwhile, two skylights infuse natural light into the Emergency Department’s corridor. All patient rooms have headwalls angled toward windows, and touchdown work tables in the nurses’ work area enhance flexibility. For LEED certification points, many of the building materials and products utilized have recycled content and are manufactured within a 500-mile radius.

This 116-bed replacement facility indeed answers the call of Mountain States Health Alliance, who wanted it not only to maximize mountain views and be flexible for later expansion, but more importantly to become the preferred healthcare facility for southeast Virginia. Within eight months of opening, patient volume increased by 25 percent.

Photos © Kyle Dreier Photography