Essentia Health – St. Mary’s Medical Center

  • area / size 1,048,000 sqft
  • Completed 2023
  • EwingCole designed the St. Mary’s Medical Center for Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota.

    Essentia Health’s new 1,000,000 SF St. Mary’s Medical Center streamlines services, redefines the continuum of care, and invigorates downtown Duluth with public amenities.

    THE BUILDING BRICK AND STONE BASE CASCADES down while the building podium above bridges over first street and the alleyway. The masonry base echoes the terracing effect of the sloped city. The base of the building is designed with articulated and striated brick panels and recessed glass recalling the urban scale and texture of Duluth’s masonry tradition.

    ABOVE THE PODIUM RISES THE INPATIENT TOWER, clad with glass panels, maximizing views. Its narrow aerodynamic form was designed to eliminate wind turbulence at entrances. The glass is patterned with a ceramic frit screen recalling the iconic fog that emerges out of Lake Superior. The frit screen plays a key environmental role in the design, providing protection from solar heat gain and protects birds from colliding into the glass tower.

    A welcoming plaza featuring extensive canopies and a glazed winter garden provides a welcoming entry. The use of natural planting as well as wood soffits and textured brick reduce visitors and patient’s anxiety.

    THE CAFETERIA, designed in collaboration with the Native American community provides a tribute to the natural environment that lies at the heart of the Ojibwe tradition. Large mural photographs of Native American life mark individual seating areas. Large sculptural ceiling elements echo the shapes of canoes. These ceiling “canoes” form a subtle surface that recalls the gentle waves of Lake Superior.

    THE PATIENT ZONES utilize outdoor views and creates an uplifting and healing environment. The design provides patient-centric inpatient rooms, appropriate amenities to respond to different care needs, and enhances the patient experience while improving outcomes.

    Design: EwingCole
    Contractor: McGough Construction
    Photography: Halkin|Mason Photography