Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, New Medical Campus

Lebanon, NH | 1991

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) represents a paradigm shift in hospital design. Designed with physical and economic flexibility in an environment that is socially and culturally responsive to patients and medical staff, it has stood the test of time, expansion, and changing technologies and delivery models.

As one of the few American academic medical center replacement campuses, Dartmouth-Hitchcock re-imagined an ideal model for care delivery, research, and medical education. The new campus incorporated and foretold the most significant healthcare architecture design issues of the decades to follow:

- Patient- and family-centered design, with an emphasis on patient wellness, satisfaction, and convenience
- A belief in the importance of 'bench to bedside,' connecting clinical care, research and education
- Flexible, adaptable structures that accommodate growth and change in care, technology, and medical education
- A strategy for addressing first cost and ongoing operational cost with a series of connected and individuated buildings, each with specialized and appropriate systems
- Addressing the need for scalable efficiency, with horizontal service line adjacencies
- On-stage/off-stage separation of public and patient circulation
- Foreshadowing the evidence-based design movement with access to nature and daylight, clear wayfinding, adjacencies that support the continuity of care, and proximity of nursing staff to patients.
- The 'medical mall' concept: A public circulation backbone that promotes both casual interaction and retail, dining, and amenities for patients, staff, and the wider community.

The medical center is clad in white metal panels, highlighted with Dartmouth?s dark green accents. Although a relatively unconventional choice at the time, the clean white of the exterior evokes a crisp professionalism that marries well with the high-tech and high-touch care within.

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'A healing place' - Darmouth Medicine magazine, spring 2006
The story behind a Legacy Project (video)


Shepley Bulfinch Team

Lloyd Acton
Garrold Baker
Mark Finneral
Mason Smith



  • 2014 Project Legacy Award, American College of Healthcare Architects (ACHA)
  • 1994

  • Healthcare Facility Design Award 1994, Boston Society of Architects
  • 1992

  • Citation, Health Facilities Review 1992-93

View awards list »

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