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Building Facts and Features

Innovative Design

Jacob's Medical Center July 2014

The Jacobs Medical Center is a rounded, fluid 10-story modern structure, designed with the patient in mind. From spacious private rooms to soothing color schemes and artwork, to next-generation medical equipment, designers from Cannon Design have fully integrated the vision and needs of patients, doctors and nurses. Each floor will combine all the necessary healing elements while achieving optimal safety and efficient delivery of care.

Garden Design, Natural Light and Efficiency

Cancer Lounge

The building has a garden-based design with many peaceful terraces and both interior and exterior spaces designed to maximize natural lighting and contribute to healing.

Each medical specialty unit with the Jacobs Medical Center is designed in harmony with the surrounding native landscapes. The Hospital for Advanced Surgery on the second and third floors will reflect a canyon motif. The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care on the fourth through sixth floors will evoke the ocean, and a sky theme will infuse the Hospital for Women and Infants on the eighth through 10th floors.

Garden Based DesignAll patient rooms are private, with an outward facing, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling window with “frit” or dotted glass to control sunlight, and curtains for privacy. Natural lighting has been proven to improve mood and help patients recover faster, both physically and mentally.

Patient BedNo detail has been spared in merging exceptional design with healing elements. The patient headwall, usually an institutional medical product, has been transformed into an arching white canopy that sleekly houses the room’s advanced technology. Besides its elegant simplicity, the headwall is constructed of non-porous surface materials that reduce the risk of transferring infection. In recognition of the pioneering design, the headwall, which was designed by Cannon Design and crafted by Shield Casework, won First Prize in the Industrial and Life Science Design competition, International Design Awards (IDA) in July, 2014.

A non-denominational chapel and dedicated family areas with lounges and kitchenettes will offer refuge for family members and visitors. Visitors on every floor will also be welcome to step outside to visit aromatic gardens for fresh air and sunshine.

Operationally, the building’s design incorporates the findings of workflow and efficiency studies, addressing areas where efficiency can be increased for the patient’s benefit.

Building Facts

  • Construction began in January 2012
  • 10-story building, 509,500 square feet
  • Total project cost: $839 million (2013 estimate), includes construction of a separate, 39,306-square-foot Medical Center Central Plant, to be completed in September, 2014
  • Contiguous with UC San Diego Thornton Hospital in La Jolla
  • 245 beds, including 108 medical/surgical beds and 36 intensive care unit beds
  • Outdoor areas include courtyards and various sized terraces
  • Two underground floors for mechanical equipment and services, such as a blood bank and an inpatient pharmacy
  • Rooftop helistop (helicopter landing pad) with direct access to all floors
  • Low-carbon footprint equivalent to LEED silver certification
  • Scheduled to open for patient care in 2016
NOTICE: All Jacobs Medical Center images, such as photographs and renderings, are copyrighted by UC San Diego Health Sciences’ Marketing & Communications Department, and are for its exclusive use. To obtain permission to use any of these images, please contact Beth Regan at