Chickasaw Nation Medical Center

Ada, OK

Project Description

Chickasaw and other Native American culture and art influenced the design of this 72-bed replacement hospital located on a 230-acre rural site on tribal lands. The 358,000-square-foot medical center incorporates the beauty of the site as well as deference to its ecology as fully as possible into the design. The composite effect is a building that is strongly tied to its site, region and local culture. The new medical center is stretched long and thin, parallel to a broad meadow with generous views to a hill and creek bed. In order to preserve the connection to landscape on the two long faces of the building, necessary service functions were restricted to its short southeast end. The medical center can thus have two long fronts—one facing the hill, the cluster of mature trees and vehicular access for visitors and the other facing the creek, the thicket and meadow views.

The whole site is seen as a healing environment, not only for the patient, but also for their families and other visitors. There is no explicit "healing garden" but rather a whole series of landscape spaces for rejuvenation. Public spaces open directly onto the meadow with trails and paths that lead throughout the larger site. The chapel acknowledges spiritual rituals that take place outdoors as well as indoors.