MultiCare Health System's Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center in Tacoma, WA, recently opened its new two-floor expansion housing general pediatric beds and the hospital's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The 52,000-square-foot addition was designed by the Seattle office of HDR Architecture with interior architecture developed in collaboration with Bainbridge of Portland.
Seamlessly blending with the structure below, the expansion's exterior boasts a patterned red brick, metal and glass façade. A new elevator core services the entire seven-story pavilion, and a two-story glass sky bridge connects the expansion to the neighboring Philip Pavilion.
The interior design follows a maritime theme that focuses on the landmarks and life found in and around Washington's South Puget Sound. This theme is seen in all areas of the expansion, from patient footwalls adorned with very stylized illustrations of coastal life to a play area featuring colorful fish shapes dangling from the ceiling, an aquarium teeming with fish, and photographs of sea animals living at Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo.
The interior design theme is most evident in the expansions extensive art program. Inspired by a growing body of research proving that art in healthcare environments can reduce stress and aid in the healing process, the art program makes the space look more like a museum than an actual hospital. The design team worked with an art broker and the client to develop an art program that provided a sophisticated and playful look that would appeal to children and adults of all ages. The works of art, ranging from expansive tiled mural walls to 30-foot-long mixed media paintings and colorful glass installations, were created by local Tacoma artists.