Six years ago, they called it the dawning of a new era of regional health care on eastern Long Island, when officials from Stony Brook University and Southampton Hospital came together to announce their merger and predict the construction of a modern hospital on the college campus in Shinnecock Hills.
Dawn’s been a long time coming — but this week, just about a year after Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for the construction of a new hospital facility on the grounds of the college, the Southampton Hospital Association on Saturday announced that Rafael Viñoly Architects and HKS Architects will work together as the design team for the new Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
“We are dedicated to building an environment that is patient-centric and enhances health and well-being,” Robert S. Chaloner, chief administrative officer of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, said in a press release.
The new hospital, which is expected to be completed by 2025 at a cost of $305 million, raised mostly through philanthropy, will replace the existing hospital on Meeting House Lane in Southampton, which was built in 1924. Fifteen acres of the 82-acre university campus have been designated as the site for the new facility.
On Monday, Mr. Chaloner said the association started the search for a design team for a new hospital on the campus last March. There were about 14 applicants at the outset.
As a not-for-profit entity, the Southampton Hospital Association isn’t bound by the strictures of a municipal bidding process, which call for the acceptance of the lowest responsible bidder. Still, Mr. Chaloner said, “We challenged [the architects] to provide their best proposal, and we wanted to be assured a fair price.”
Rafael Viñoly Architects blends a human-centered approach to care with a focus on integrating technological advancements, the release said. The firm designed the Penn Medicine Complex in Philadelphia, the New Stanford Hospital at the Stanford University Medical Center in California, and the University of Chicago Medicine Center, Center for Care and Discovery.
HKS Architects is recognized for design that improves health and well-being through efficient and flexible solutions, the release said. The firm designed the Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio; Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Missouri; and the Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth, Texas.
“They are keenly adept at solving cultural, technological and environmental concerns, as well as those of function, with unique and unprecedented solutions and inspired designs,” said Ken Wright, chairman of the Southampton Hospital Association.
Speaking to function, J. Bergmann, a senior vice president with Rafael Viñoly, said the next step in the process will include a kickoff meeting with hospital staff to gather and assess information about their needs.
Mr. Chaloner explained that hospital officials crafted a strategic plan, including details like the number of beds and operating rooms, that the design team can use to create a conceptual drawing. Overall, the goal, he said, “is to create something beautiful that works with the community, something that really reflects the heritage of the community — that’s an absolute.”
The hospital administrator said the association tasked design hopefuls with coming up with a design that didn’t look like the typical urban hospital. The campus site is, he said, “a very visible location.”
It’s a plus, Mr. Chaloner said, that Rafael Viñoly has a home on the South Fork, which could prove to deepen the firm’s understanding and appreciation of the local landscape. “It’s his community, too,” he said.
Fundraising for the major project will be key, and so far, Mr. Chaloner said, the response from prospective donors has been positive. “Everyone is waiting to see the design,” he said.
“We’re thrilled and excited,” Mr. Bergmann said, speaking from the firm’s home base “right under the Brooklyn Bridge.”
Founded in 1983, Rafael Viñoly Architects is an internationally renowned firm with projects spanning six continents, according to its website.
To be owned by the association, the new hospital, which will be operated by Stony Brook Medicine, will have 85 beds in a 241,800-square-foot building, as well as 700 parking spaces and a staff of 1,200 employees.
The Southampton Hospital Association completed the Phillips Family Cancer Center in April. Plans are also underway for an East Hampton Satellite Emergency Department. In 2017, it turned over the hospital operating certificate to Stony Brook University Hospital.
Along with his counterpart, State Senator Kenneth P. Lavalle, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. was an early supporter of the Southampton-Stony Brook collaboration, crafting legislation that would allow Stony Brook University to lease the property to the association.
“The selection of the design team for the new hospital at the Southampton campus is another step toward the goal of providing a new state-of-the-art health care facility for the residents of the East End,” he said. “The hospital board is to be commended for selecting professionals with the skills and credentials that will provide us with the expertise necessary to meet the next generation of health care needs in our community. I am confident that the result will be a facility that will serve the community well and also be compatible with our unique community character.”
“I am pleased that the process of designing the new Southampton Hospital facility has taken this big step forward,” Mr. LaValle said. “I trust the leadership in both Southampton and Stony Brook, and I am confident that they have chosen a team that will recognize the needs and character of the Southampton community.”