Project DescriptionFROM THE ARCHITECTS:
In consultation with Stanley Beaman & Sears, Architect of Record, Perkins+Will led the Clinical Design and Interior Design for the new Nemours Children’s Hospital. The clinical objective was to integrate outpatient and inpatient care into a single facility, to create a patient-centric Model-Of-Care in which the patients care team remains consistent from inpatient treatment to clinic visits, one which allows the team to provide the highest quality of care in a healing, nurturing environment. The overall design of the interior spaces was inspired by the rich garden setting, utilizing design elements of plant life, organic forms, exterior views, and natural lighting concepts to stimulate the senses and allow both children and adults to rediscover the wonders of nature. Upon arrival the “Hospital-in-a-Garden” is immediately evident with the lush landscaping, children and their families are greeted by the “porch light”, an illuminated reception desk that creates a welcoming, comforting environment. Moving past reception along the lobby floor’s garden path in patterned terrazzo, the folded ceiling patterns and artistic cutouts create filtered light patterns that resemble light though a tree canopy. The ceiling “flower” in the Café Dining Room reinforces the connection to nature and ties into the gardens which can be seen from all family waiting areas through floor-to-ceiling windows that allow natural daylight to penetrate deep into the building.Conceptually, the facility appeals to a child’s sensibilities.Playful accents, such as the hedge-like benches that surround “picnic blankets on the grass” dot the waiting areas. Habitable Walls offer fun and comfortable seating options for children to enjoy with their families. The bright colors of the finishes and accent walls provide a full spectrum of color against a neutral field, like flowers in a garden, and avoids the Children’s Hospital cliché of cartoon images and over stimulated patterns.The interior environment is carried beyond the public lobbies, atypical of many hospital designs, and extends to the patient corridors, staff lounges and Patient’s room. Even the restricted corridor of Surgery (typically a lightless, basement environment) is bathed in natural light from floor to ceiling windows, which again provide views of the gardens.Each patient room offers floor-to-ceiling windows for plenty of sunshine and healing landscape views as well as furniture that allows for family comfort. The “Paint Your Room with Color” concept lets children customize their own space. They can modify their environment by painting the space with colored LED lights. This choice of color translates to the exterior and creates a mosaic of patient personalities at night while adding a dynamic quality to the architecture.Creating a sustainable facility that embodies the latest technologies for patient centered equipment and overall building performance with respect to climate, safety concerns, and energy optimization, was a major challenge for the Design Team. Designed to achieve a LEED certification, The Children’s Hospital employs a number of sustainable features. Natural day lighting and views are maximized in both clinical and public spaces while exterior sun shading mitigates heat gain and glare. Healing gardens and roof terraces provide respite to patients, families, and staff and offer a therapeutic environment that inspires holistic healing literally integrating exterior and interior environments.