The Children’s Hospital of Richmond (CHoRP) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is the largest and most advanced outpatient health facility dedicated to children in the region. Located at the gateway to the Medical College of Virginia campus, the 15-story ambulatory pavilion consolidated existing pediatric clinics into a vertical urban pavilion and includes a surgery level, three levels of pediatric clinics and a floor dedicated to faculty offices, research and medical student education.
The Vision and Design
Adjacent to Richmond’s most important civic and historic structures, the design establishes a signature identity that embodies VCU Health System’s objective of enhancing their brand image and status as a premier pediatric academic medical institution. With its prominently located roof terrace and themes of sky, water and forest, the design brings nature to the heart of this urban campus.
The CHoRP was designed with collaboration in mind, incorporating a range of planning and design elements that promote enhanced clinical care in an uplifting environment that supports patient, staff and visitor comfort. Its three levels of pediatric clinical services include seven specialty clinic modules, each with 12 exam rooms, a treatment room, support spaces and a nurse work core.
The central work core encourages interaction between nurses and physicians, resulting in a coordinated caregiver approach. Rather than embedding diagnostics into each specialty clinic, efficiency is gained through shared diagnostics on each clinical floor. Each 12-exam module is organized with perimeter exam rooms, creating a calmer patient experience by fully separating the offstage support zone from the onstage patient environment.
With an emphasis on physical, visual and abstract connections to nature, CHoRP has a calming, restorative effect on all who experience the building, reducing anxiety and stress, and in turn, promoting health and healing. The focus is on the patient and his or her family and the elimination of stressors associated with medical facilities in a busy urban setting.