Froedtert Hospital – Kathy’s House

  • area / size 30,000 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • HGA designed Kathy’s House as a comfortable and safe space for people traveling to receive medical care at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    Kathy’s House, a non-profit hospital guest house in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, has opened a new two-level, 30,000 square foot facility on the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center (MRMC) grounds, adjacent to Froedtert Hospital. For the last 20 years, Kathy’s House has provided affordable lodging for thousands of people traveling to the Milwaukee area for medical treatment.

    In 2016, following a steadily increasing demand for their services, Kathy’s House began researching and planning for a new facility. After touring facilities throughout the country, Kathy’s House chose national interdisciplinary design firm HGA to test site options and design its new location with the twin goals of doubling capacity and expanding services to better meet patient needs. Breaking ground in 2020, the new “Home for Healing” welcomed its first guests in June 2021.

    Working closely with key Kathy’s House leadership, staff, board members, and former and current guests, HGA’s Milwaukee-based team utilized Dr. Margaret Swarbrick’s Eight Dimensions of Wellness model to create a thoughtful design which meets the needs of both patients and families. A variety of amenities, including a communal kitchen and dining room, a library, fitness and business centers, meditation space, and interactive common areas, invite guests to both explore and enjoy the comforts and conveniences of Home for Healing.

    Each of the 36 short- and long-stay suites were carefully designed to ensure the spaces feel like more like home than a hotel. In addition to double- or queen-sized beds, the rooms are equipped with ample closet space, workspaces, and comfortable furniture; long-stay suites include kitchenettes. Skylights draw in fresh air and light from the outside, while large, operable windows provide views of the surrounding landscape.

    Outdoors, seating areas at the front of the house offer a variety of lighting conditions; a sitting deck overlooks ponds and a large courtyard with abundant garden space, ringed by a walking trail that circles the site.

    Unique to hospital guest houses like Kathy’s House, a separate wing exists for immunocompromised patients. Additionally, HGA designed an inpatient space for minor medical needs, like a blood draw or telehealth visit, allowing guests to stay in place rather than visit the hospital.

    Home for Healing also hosts large solar arrays on each wing’s roof, which provide 40% of the facility’s total energy needs and significantly reduces annual electricity costs.

    Design: HGA
    Contractor: C.G. Schmidt
    Photography: John Magnoski