When the 600,000 square-foot Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colorado, was designed, sandstone was a first-choice material, along with a locally manufactured exterior face brick and a metal panel system for sophisticated highlighting. Project designer/planner, Mark Johnson of Heery International, explained that the architectural concept was to have the hospital feel comfortable and put patients and families at ease. To accomplish the comfortable feel, natural materials native to Colorado were specified. Buff-colored sandstone was used extensively on the exterior and filtered into the interior public spaces, inpatient bed floors, and some clinical areas. This provided a sense of “exterior to interior” continuity and thoroughness that enhanced intuitive ways for visitors to navigate the building and a sense of organization to the physical space within a soothing aesthetic. Margie Snow, principal of Gallun Snow Associates, reinforced this intent by specifying stacked sandstone for key design information elements. These information elements included the main entry control points, the emergency reception desk, and the main nurses’ stations on each bed floor. Key elevator points were also clarified with stone applique.
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The owner and design team had decided to pursue a LEED-certified building from the outset. Important for LEED certification was the use of local material and labor, with reduced transportation costs. The stone used for the project came from Masonville, Colorado, approximately 20 miles to the west of the construction site.
The 4-inch sandstone used for interior applications for the medical center was mounted to 16-gauge, 16-inch steel studs at 16 inches on center by wire ties through a %-inch layer of cement backer-board. A matte finish sealer was applied to most interior stone locations for infection control and cleanability purposes.
The owner and design team’s mission was to create a sustainable, hospitality-like environment for the hospital. The well-lit, four-story atrium, with its stacked stone fireplaces and winding grand staircase, feels like the lobby of an exclusive hotel. An exterior stunning sky terrace above the atrium, with its panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains and Longs Peak, also contributes to the nature-inspired healing ambience. The Medical Center of the Rockies achieved LEED Gold certification for New Construction in 2009. (Design team: Heery
Decorating Gallery 4.13 Stacked Sandstone. Stacked stone was used throughout the Medical Center of the Rockies as a Key Design Element.
Decorating Gallery 4.14 Stone Pavers. This stone pavement is considered flagstone because of the irregular shape of the stones.