Building Facts and Features

Jacob's Medical Center Model

The architectural vision is to create a timeless and transformative building that is responsive to the unique needs of a variety of our specialty patients, yet operates efficiently. “Transformative” describes a design that not only contributes in new ways of advancing health, but also contributes to healing through connections to nature, art, beauty and support of patients and their families.

At UC San Diego Health System, we believe the clinical environment is an integral part of the patient's experience. It is a key part of our commitment to provide high-quality, compassionate care. Important input from our medical faculty, staff and community members has helped to shape this vision.

Garden Design, Natural Light and Efficiency

Cancer Lounge

One of the most important features of the new Jacobs Medical Center is its garden-based design, which includes numerous outdoor areas, and both interior and exterior spaces designed to maximize natural light – proven to help patients recover faster, both physically and mentally.

The aesthetic environment can also play a role in the healing process. Caregivers have found that patients in calming environments require less pain medication, and for highly stressed pre-surgical patients, art can influence blood pressure levels and responses to treatment. The aesthetics, such as the color palate, of the new Jacobs Medical Center will be chosen to contribute to our patients’ healing and well-being.

Operationally, the design incorporates the findings of workflow and efficiency studies, addressing areas where efficiency can be increased for the benefit of the patient. Additional provisions for families of patients have been planned throughout the building, including dedicated family areas and “living rooms” on each bed floor.

For certain emergencies, there will also be a Helistop (helicopter pad) on the roof with direct access to all floors.

Building at a Glance

  • Construction began in January 2012
  • 10-story building, 509, 500 square feet
  • Total project cost of $839,000,000 (2013 est.)
  • Adjacent to UC San Diego Thornton Hospital in La Jolla
  • 245 beds, including 108 medical/surgical beds and 36 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds
  • 24 medical/surgical beds are within the Bone Marrow Transplant unit, designed with a separate, specialized air filtration system and dedicated workout room
  • 14 operating rooms, including a 4-OR intra-operative imaging suite
  • 8 private Labor and Delivery rooms
  • 3 rooms for C-section deliveries
  • 3 rooms within a midwifery-staffed Birthing Center designed for a homelike, holistic experience
  • 32 private postpartum inpatient rooms, each with a fold-out bed for a family member
  • 52 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) rooms – all private to conform with best practices, plus a well-baby nursery
  • Chapel, gift shop and other amenities for patient families and visitors
  • Medical Education Center, including three theatres with moveable walls, for lectures, seminars and conferences
  • Helistop – helicopter landing pad with direct access to all floors
  • Garden-based design to maximize natural light
  • Outdoor areas include courtyards and various sized terraces on each patient floor
  • Dedicated family areas on each bed floor, with lounges and kitchenettes
  • 2 underground floors for mechanical equipment and services, such as a blood bank and an inpatient pharmacy
  • Scheduled to open for patient care in 2016

Programs and Services

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