George Washington University/Universal Health Systems


George Washington University Hospital

Washington, DC

417,000 GSF, 38,740 M2

Architecture, Master Planning, Programming

“... [SmithGroupJJR] demonstrated a great knowledge of healthcare technology and patient care delivery issues.”

—Louise C. Myers, Former Associate Administrator


The choice between renovating existing facilities and building new replacement hospitals is a common and vexing question for healthcare providers. This new and distinguished hospital presents a strong case for new construction, both as a means to support sophisticated medical technologies while also strengthening the profile of a premier academic medical center.

The first goal for the 371-bed tertiary replacement facility, designed by a SmithGroupJJR joint venture with HKS, was harmony with the surrounding university campus and its historic neighborhood. The Palladian block, with its classically inspired, banded masonry exterior, suggests archetypal Washington architecture. Then the facades are punctuated by steel and glass, with deep vertical recesses, a modern riff that emphasizes the state-of-the-art technology and care it contains.

Sited atop a busy Metro station, the building is detailed to mitigate noise and other environmental variables. Patients and medical staff experience the six-story facility as a leading area hospital with the most advanced systems available in the practice and research of medicine.