Barlow Respiratory Hospital, Replacement Hospital Campus

Creating a peaceful, timeless, homelike setting for an institutional, state-of-the-art facility

Barlow Respiratory Hospital, an acute care center near downtown Los Angeles, believes that besides healing for the patient, education for family members and caregivers is an important component of their mission.

Located in a park-like setting near a hillside, we worked with Barlow to address the challenges of an acute respiratory care center. Replacing a 1927 hospital building, Barlow wished to preserve the historical elements of the area and address the site, while providing a homelike state-of-the-art health facility.

Achieving this goal became a defining characteristic of the design, setting the hospital against the hillside and creating a gentle architectural curvature that serves as a metaphor for the act of breathing. This curve eliminates sharp corners and allows all patient rooms to be visually accessible from nurse’s stations to enhance level of care. Additionally, the hillside setting provides hospital patients with maximum views of the peaceful vistas.

With an average stay of 30 days, Barlow focused on making patients and their families feel comfortable by surrounding them with colors and forms derived from nature. The interior incorporates “tide” and “metamorphosis” themes—natural patterns that mirror the hospital’s mission of lasting respiratory treatment and symbolize the motion of effortless breathing.

An extensive canopy with a wood soffit that extends into the entrance lobby, corridor, and waiting areas covers the arrival and visiting areas. A board-formed concrete wall continues nature-like themes by emphasizing the natural flow and curvature of the building and exposing the imprint of wood grain. Wooden headwalls in patient rooms carry to extensive windows and find expression on the exterior, punctuating through limestone plaster to describe the smooth curvature of the building.

Overall, the 80,000-SF acute care hospital features an eight-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 48 private patient rooms, physical and occupational therapy center, and full-service dining area.


Los Angeles, CA

Building Type

Community Hospital


80,000 SF

Download Project