America’s 5,000+ medical centers range from scary to acceptable to a scant few that raise the bar for what healthcare should be.
A February 2009 survey by the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health found that – duh – happy hospitals make happy patients.
So what makes a happy hospital? Staff morale and attention to patients’ needs topped the list, but another factor was how the hospital actually looked.
Since there’s no scientific way to rank hospitals by “prettiness”, take a look at these 20 visions of what could be the most gorgeous places in America to be sick…
- Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, Maryland
America’s #1-ranked hospital is also the only beautiful building on our list over 15 years old…heck over 100 years old. Plus a stay there looks to be like a night in Cinderella’s castle.
- Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, Los Angeles
The striking façade of this California clinic earned it a reoccurring role as the exterior setting of Seattle Grace Hospital on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy.
- Providence Regional Cancer Partnership, Everett, Washington
Fancy a few soothing backlit deep sea creatures swimming overhead at your next MRI? Go West!
- Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey
One of the area’s newest medical centres is also the last place you’ll see the boxy lines and harsh lighting of traditional hospitals.
- Moran Eye Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
Head to Utah and see the light…after complex eye surgery. (Or just gaze upon this award-winning building in the morning twilight.)
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri
A new green rooftop garden sports an acre of landscaped splendour, including water features and sculpture-art kids can actually play with.
- Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware
Dazzling domes full of luminescent stars in the hallways conjure-up images of the Hogwarts Great Hall ceiling from Harry Potter. What kid wouldn’t want to stay here??
- Midwest Cancer Center, Omaha, Nebraska
If it’s a starry sky you want, check out any clear night in Nebraska, or one of the medical imaging rooms in this Omaha facility.
- Florida Hospital, Waterman, Tavares, Florida
Tent-like roofing over part of this Central Florida hospital make you feel like you’re at some sort of high-rolling outdoor event straight out of a CSI: Miami episode…hopefully with a lower murder rate.
- Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Palmer, Alaska
Yes, it’s cold in Alaska…sometimes. Roaring flames in public areas of this far northern hospital emerge from beautifully designed fireplaces.
- Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center, Santa Clara, California
The last thing you want to do in a hospital is stay in the hospital. Airy courtyards throughout this facility let patients and visitors stroll through nature while still onsite.
- Midwest Surgical Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
No, this isn’t a hotel suite. But the bold design of this surgical facility rivals anything at the Hilton.
- Children’s Healthcare, Atlanta, Georgia
Children’s hospitals tend to be among the best looking medical facilities: That’s because kids’ hospitals are a new idea and often benefit from the latest design and architecture ideas.
- Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, Wheaton, Illinois
Sometimes just a different way of seeing things can be a great benefit. Here, a circular two-level courtyard helps soothe the senses of recovering patients.
- WakeMed Apex Healthplex, Apex, North Carolina
Jutting out onto a human-made lake full of exotic fowl and fountains, it’s hard to remember what you’re even in the hospital for.
- University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, New Jersey
Though not-yet-built, this state-of-the-art facility will be one of America’s most attractive even if it’s half as snazzy as the artist’s sketches of this now-underway construction project.
- Sacred Heart Medical Center, Springfield, Oregon
One of the Northwest’s largest hospitals, this cozy design came about when the facility was rebuilt as “a clean slate” according to its web site.
- Dixie Regional Medical Center, St. George Utah
The view says it all: How sick can you stay looking at these gorgeous mountain vistas?
- Baylor Medical at Frisco, Texas
If it weren’t so dang bad for you, you’d likely want to break out a glass of Cognac and fine cigars in the posh public areas of this Dallas-area medical center.
- California Academy of Science
Honorary-mention: Though the rainforest core of this building isn’t actually a medical center, it shows the extreme end of the spectrum for what’s possible in bringing healthy design and attractive interiors into spaces notorious for being anything-but.
What are your thoughts? Are there some absolutely stunning hospitals we’ve missed?