A Fitting

NBBJ helped Massachusetts General transform a constrained site on its historic, urban campus into an opportunity to advance its medical care, enable future change and create a new hub for its campus.

Founded in 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is the third oldest hospital in the United States and the oldest and largest hospital in New England. Serving nearly 1.4 million outpatient visits and discharging more than 48,000 patients annually, MGH had to expand its services in order to meet a growing patient population and continue providing the world-renowned, quality care it’s known for. The hospital decided to build a new addition to its extremely compact campus in downtown Boston to provide a high-tech, patient-centered healing environment that could meet their current needs and grow with the needs of the community for the next 100 years.

The tight urban site and the programmatically-dense building mandated a high level of precision in the design and delivery of the project. Building Information Modeling allowed the design team to manage the complexities of fitting a 14-story building on a compact site; make multiple connections to existing buildings; and link numerous departments within, all while maximizing opportunities for future flexibility, daylight, patient safety and staff productivity.

Well Connected

Located at the heart of the MGH campus, the Lunder Building plays a critical role in integrating teaching, research and patient care by connecting existing buildings. NBBJ used circulation modeling to develop the ideal connections for ease of facility access, patient transport to services elsewhere on campus and materials flow. Due to constrictive floor-to-floor ceiling heights within existing buildings, connections were limited to the five floors where pedestrian traffic and logistical connections to existing buildings were most critical.

The loading dock and sterile processing department, on levels LL1 and LL2, respectively, service the entire campus. Joining with the White and Ellison buildings below grade, these connections are critical for campus-wide materials distribution.

Materials Management
In addition to a new lobby connection to the White building entrance, the ground floor provides a seamless ED addition to the existing White building ED, enabling the phased renovation
of the entire emergency department.

Emergency Department
On any given day, 25,000 people arrive at the Charles/MGH T Stop and travel through the Yawkey Building and Lunder’s second-floor corridor to access other areas of the MGH campus.

Second Floor Corridor
The third floor connections provide direct access to the White, Ellison and Wang buildings. All surgical patients check in and are prepped in the Wang building, and are then transported to Lunder or White for their procedures. Post-surgery, outpatients leave through the Wang building, and inpatients are taken to recovery rooms in the Lunder building or elsewhere on campus.

“ I see things on the Lunder patient units that I could only have dreamed of at other places I’ve worked. Private rooms, comforting colors, more light, floor to ceiling glass. It’s fun to see something new that embodies a lot of the concepts we’re looking for. ”

Richard Evans Senior Director, Services Improvement Department, MGH

Turning Constraints  into Opportunities
Turning Constraints  into Opportunities
Turning Constraints  into Opportunities
Turning Constraints into Opportunities
Turning Constraints  into Opportunities
Turning Constraints  into Opportunities

Made Quiet. Made Better.

Because quieter environments speed patient recovery, the Lunder Building was designed to be calm and conducive to healing. By combining design with changes in clinical practice, average noise levels on patient floors were measured at 46.5 decibels — 35% lower than the worldwide average of 72 decibels in comparable hospitals.

Awards and Publications


AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH), National Healthcare Design Award
AIA New York, Building Type Merit Award, Health Facilities
AIA New York, Design Awards, Merit Award
AIA New York State, Design Awards, Citation for Design
Architizer A+ Award, Health Care & Aging Facilities
Associated General Contractors, Build New England, Honor Award
Boston Society of Architects Design Award, Healthcare
Boston Society of Architects Design Award, Honor Awards for Design Excellence
Healthcare Design, Architectural & Interior Design Showcase, Citation of Merit
International Academy for Design and Health, High Commendation
Modern Healthcare, Design Awards, Citation


Architectural Record, “Massachusetts General Hospital, The Lunder Building,” August 2012
Architectural Record, "Nature Nurtures,” August 2012
Mass General Magazine, “All’s Quiet on the Lunder Floors,” Summer 2012
ArchitectureBoston, “Hospital, Heal Thyself,” Summer 2012
Mass General Magazine, “Designed for Change,” Spring/Summer 2011