The Children’s Hospital uses a rich palette of shapes, colors and materials to communicate the building’s unique identity as a place for children and families. Views to courtyards and gardens serve to make exterior spaces year-round extensions of the interior environment. This furthers an institutional vision to create a warm and open caregiving environment with the best patient experience at its center.
Inside, the spatial strategy is shaped by the way a patient or a family will move through the spaces. The first floor emphasizes movement by providing a major path that engages the most public programmatic elements. The upper levels offer a more prescribed path, like a river that courses through the patient floors. Throughout the building, children and their families find a place of hope and healing. Building elements are unified around a central recurring theme of “Healing with Nature” through the use of images, color, form and texture. Nature also plays an important role in the way patients, families and staff experience the building. Special emphasis is placed on natural light and the views of the surrounding landscape, which not only improve the quality of the environment but also improves orientation through clear wayfinding. The building’s design engages children at all stages of development, from the toddler room with interactive bubble tubes to the nature wall, a panelized glass system featuring an interactive A/V component displaying animal life and nature patterns native to Pennsylvania, to the lounge style teen room.