The design of the Hartford Hospital Bone + Joint Institute is inspired by the movement of the human body, and its architecture offers a unique setting to restore, strengthen, and celebrate that movement.
The body can move in so many ways - stretch, bend, curl, twist, reach, stride, leap, sprint. This building conveys the vitality of that motion in a composition of fluid, dynamic forms that create an innovative design expression unlike any other building in the world. Its abstract, curvilinear language evokes the sculptural quality of bone structure, and the interfaces among different parts of the building suggest the way joints connect bone structures within the body. These aspects combine to form a seamless loop of elegantly contoured surfaces and an integrated architectural expression of world-class orthopedic healthcare.
With two distinct components – inpatient and outpatient care - connected by a bridge across Seymour Street, the Bone + Joint Institute creates a new gateway to the Hartford Hospital campus. The angled siting of the hospital building defines a landscaped rehabilitation garden that links visually with the Frederick Law Olmsted – designed park across the street and brings nature into the healing experience of the patient. Paired with the setback face of the ambulatory care building and framed by the curving bridge, the experience of arrival is both dramatic and inviting.
The patient’s journey continues at the main entry, where the Institute’s form merges into an expansive two-story covered drop-off area and lobby. A sinuous, wood-clad balcony - inspired by and literally serving as connective tissue - links both sides of the lobby, which features a café, private lounge areas, outdoor seating, and social gathering spaces to create a welcoming first impression. The first floor education area and fitness center, highly visible both inside and outside the building, will host wellness classes, sports medicine, and public programs open to patients, staff, and the surrounding community.
While initially appearing complex, the organization of the building is actually quite simple. The organic language adapts to internal programmatic logic and creates an efficient plan that optimizes adjacency and minimizes travel distances. The ends of the building culminate in stair towers; the south exposed through a transparent patterned glass that will create a dramatic vertical expression at the entry to the campus, especially in the evening. Generous ribbon windows seamlessly wrap the exterior. All public spaces are placed along the building perimeter, providing patients and families with natural light and views to the outdoors, reinforcing an intuitive way-finding approach.
The Bone + Joint Institute is distinctive in its integration of excellent care, advanced technology, patient focus and educational mission. It will soon become one of Hartford’s landmarks – not simply because of its architecture, but because of its unique aspiration to be the best of its kind.
Perkins+Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm founded on the belief that design has the power to transform lives - for our clients, our culture, and our communities. By gaining a holistic view of our clients' vision, needs, and context, our work addresses complex problems with creativity and innovation. We help transform our clients' missions to make them leaders in their fields. Design should reflect context, culture, community and the natural environment while incorporating advances in technology; a deep dedication to sustainability and social responsibility is fundamental to our outlook and culture. Each of our projects represents our commitment not only to the individual client, but also to elevating the state of the art for design and improving society for future generations. With hundreds of award-winning projects, Perkins+Will is consistently recognized as one of the top design firms in the world.