BJC, Children’s Hospital Release Detailed Renderings of Three New Towers

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BJC Healthcare and St. Louis Children’s Hospital have released detailed renderings of their new Central West End medical campus buildings for the first time. As reported here in March of last year, the project was set to move forward after several buildings have been on the chopping block for a decade or more. The City of St. Louis had previously declined to approve demolition 2010 until building plans had been submitted. The detailed renderings provide a clear image of the new growing medical center.

Last year, the hospitals included basic massing studies and preliminary images. It was enough to move the project forward, and demolition is currently underway. The Jewish Hospital School of Nursing building adjacent to Children’s Hospital has been removed and the Jewish Hospital Building fronting Kingshighway and Forest Park Avenue is more than half gone. Although no timeline has been made public, the replacement for the 320-foot Queeny Tower (1965) is clearly shown in the rendering released. It carries a very similar aesthetic to the new Children’s Hospital tower.

Designed by HOK, the towers largely continue an aesthetic began early last decade along Kingshighway, and continued with the 15-story Center for Advanced Medicine (CAM) at Forest Park and Euclid Avenues completed in 2001. The last decade has seen nearly $1B in investment in the medical campus. The most recent addition is the 12-story BJC headquarters and Center for Outpatient Health across from CAM. It is anticipated that the coming decade will another $1B in investment.

The new building nearest Forest Park Avenue will include a dozen operating rooms and approximately 180 beds. Plans call for the Siteman Cancer Center to relocated to the new building. The tower adjacent to the existing Children’s Hospital will feature approximately 100 new pediatric patient beds and another 100 neonatal intensive care beds, according to BJC.

{Center for Advanced Medicine (2001) – image by HOK}

{BJC Center for Outpatient Health (2012) – image by Christner, Inc.}

{demolition of the Jewish School of Nursing to make way for Children’s Hospital expansion}

BJC north - campus expansion
{March 2013 rendering – showing two new healthcare towers}

{the WU/BJC/Children’s Hospital medical campus 2013 – image by}

BJC north - campus expansion
{massing study of planned BJC/Children’s Hospital project}

The video below is a product of BJC’s call for inspiration regarding the future of the Central West End medical campus. nextSTL previously looked at what $1,200,000,000 might buy over the next decade or so and needless to say, the visions below are a little more refined. Together with further development of CORTEX to the east, the area is set to see transformative change.

Preliminary Reviews: demolition of Barnes-Jewish Hospital buildings prior to new construction – City St. Louis Preservation Review 3/25/2013 by nextSTL

WUMC Community Unit Plan_Nov 2007 by nextSTL

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  • Dahmen Piotraschke

    I like the new glass structures looking out to the Park..and the high pedestrian walkway going across the entire campus. So wherever you park one can get to their destination. Are thy planning on a new Metrolink stop?

  • Hmmm

    Some parts of the new buildings remind me of those of the Edward Jones complex along I-270.

  • These buildings look okay… but wish they could push the boundaries a little. Not looking for a Libeskind design (although that would be cool), but a seems like a missed opportunity to do something that is cutting edge for St. Louis… Speaking purely on aesthetics. It’s such a visible location…

  • dempster holland

    So we tear down Forest Park hospital at Oakland and Hampton and then build
    a new hospital at Barnes/Jewish. Does anyone wonder why health costs keep
    going up?

    • moe

      Not even remotely related. The history of Forest Park Hospital, formerly Deconess is too long for this article and I won’t bother readers with it.
      I am glad that FPH, while being razed, will be put to good use for expanding the Zoo.

      • dempster holland

        They are definitely related. At least half of all health care expen-
        ditures are taxpayer funds and most of the rest are our insurance
        premiums. Building a new hospital to replace an existing hospital
        means tens of millions of dollars in new equipment, construction
        costs, etc that comes out of these funds. These may be “private”
        decisions but they are made with our money and made with the
        premise that health care money appears to be unlimited.

        • moe

          Many of these old hospitals cannot, repeat…cannot be remodeled for new technologies. Life saving technologies. Then there is for-profit vs. non-profit, tax laws, healthcare laws, healthcare expectations, healthcare outcomes, beds per population…a whole range of individual factors that play into hospital expansion/investments.
          FPH, in short, could not pull it’s own weight for many factors and outlived it’s usefulness.

          • dempster holland

            There still remains the fact that we cannot afford this
            continual rebuilding of hospitals. There is supposed to
            be a metro agency that must appove new hospital coin-
            struction, but as I recall this committee simply became
            one of rubber=stamping and backscratching

          • jhoff1257

            That would be the Missouri Department of Health that regulates hospital construction. Forest Park Hospital closed years ago and was formally run by Tenet. BJC’s rebuilding has nothing to do with the closing of the Forest Park Hospital, if it did they would have started this years ago. They are simply modernizing their facilities. This is no different then the massive amounts of money currently being poured into Mercy, Missouri Baptist, and St. Luke’s in West County. Hospitals have to keep up with technology and a building built in 1926 isn’t exactly an easy thing to retrofit for a modern World class hospital.

  • rgbose

    Is moving the Metrolink station still in the cards?

    • John R

      Post-Dispatch is reporting that there will be a new station but unclear on details…. perhaps its just a new one at the same location or perhaps moving it further down. Also, the story mentioned 2,400 parking spaces will be part of this first phase. It will be interesting to see details on these two aspects.

      • Alex Ihnen

        Parking is mostly obscured, but you can make out entrances/exits and parking levels in the renderings. The CWE MetroLink Station will be renovated, but not moved – as far as I know.

    • Reminder, I wrote about the history of the Central West End station and the various attempts to move it to Kingshighway back in early 2012.

      BJC Looks to Push Central West End Metrolink Station to Kingshighway, Again

  • John

    Wait, are they actually going to tear down Queeny Tower?

    • Presbyterian

      Yes. That’s part of the next phase. Queeny is just the narrow building facing the park. I believe the massive older building immediately behind it is staying.

      • Mike F

        Actually, I believe that Queeny is older, from the 60’s, and the one behind it is from the mid/late 70’s.

        I recall hearing, as a patient in one of the post-surgical suites, that BJC was in the process of updating/rehabbing that building–the 70’s era structure–floor by floor.

        • Alex Ihnen

          The 19-story Queeny Tower was completed in 1965. The adjacent Barnes-Jewish Hospital South is 1 story/51ft shorter (officially – though they look to same height in images to me), and was completed in 1971.

  • Presbyterian

    I love the additional renderings, especially the night views. This is the view out my living room windows. A few thoughts:

    1) The Kingshighway street facade is much improved from the auto-centric design of Queeny and earlier buildings.
    2) The detail suggests some sort of masony or finished stone at the ground level, though this could be a concrete formwork finish of some sort.
    3) I do appreciate the attempt to open the project up to the street. This is a rare quality for hospital design.
    4) The night lighting should help activate that stretch of Kingshighway.
    5) I suspect the design of the Queeny tower replacement will be different from what is pictured here.

    I look forward to this project.

  • Ann Wimsatt

    What’s happening in the perspective drawings to the north and south? The massive Chase Park Plaza tower is magically missing from every north view and a veritable collection of nonexistent tall building appears to the south? Add the Chase tower to get a real sense of the verticality of these ‘towers’.

    BJC/WUSTL has been a city saviour but Forest Park (could be) to STL what Central Park is to Manhattan. While this design is commendable ( a valiant HOK effort for a health-care client and budget), it is also disappointing. These low ‘towers’ will likely give Forest Park a distinctly Chesterfield appearance.

    • Alex Ihnen

      Really weird mythical backgrounds indeed – why do architects drop fake stuff in the background? Just filler?

      • Ann Wimsatt

        For the record, LOL, most architects do not drop fake stuff in their perspectives.

    • jhoff1257

      I was born and raised in Chesterfield and there is absolutely nothing in Chesterfield that looks even remotely like these buildings.

    • “BJC/WUSTL has been a city saviour but Forest Park (could be) to STL what Central Park is to Manhattan.”

      Not as long as one length of it is bordered by a massive twelve-lane interstate. And frankly, the Skinker and Kingshighway sides aren’t particularly approachable either. Oh, and the Lindell side is bordered by a bunch of private mansions…

      Just playing Devil’s advocate here. Love Forest Park and hope for more public connections north, south, east and west.

  • Presbyterian

    This design is a definite improvement over the rendering from a year ago. I’m curious to know whether some of those materials are masonry or just tan concrete. I seem to be reading three distinct solid materials in three different shades. Seeing only the one elevation, I suspect I will like the new Children’s building best. The geometry of that structure seems intriguing.

  • Adam

    it’s about as bland as i assumed it would be. meh.