Phoenix Children's Hospital - North face - exterior
Phoenix Children's HospitalEdit profile
Phoenix Children's Hospital's planned addition and renovations support its mission and vision to position the facility as one of the largest pediatric campuses in the country. The playful, sophisticated design respects existing campus aesthetics while strengthening brand image within the growing Phoenix community. The design team was challenged to improve upon the exisitng campus design, planning and flexibility, as well as create a campus image that is bold and unique while evoking an inspiring and comforting atmosphere. Operationally, the nationally experienced pediatric design team was challenged to implement innovative planning and design to support best practices from across the country.
The big idea for the campus is to create a welcoming oasis that provides shade and healing while emulating the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and desert. The campus is organized about north/south and east/west axes to promote logical wayfinding throughout the campus. Distinct color palettes, animal sculptures and digital nature photographic wall covers also help with wayfinding. Ambulatory and inpatient functions are combined into one tower. Innovative stacking improves family orientation, reduces patient and staff travel distances, and facilitates logical campus groupings. The visual image for the community is striking, creating the desired "wow factor" for the campus while providing stunning views of the valley, mountains and city skyline from private patient rooms as well as most public corridors and waiting rooms.
The distinct tower – which is designed to reflect a night-blooming desert flower – is divided into three sections to reduce the impact of the building’s scale. The entry court is punctuated by a large, vertical sail gracefully bisecting the patient care tower. At sunset, the sail transforms into a colorful icon reminiscent of a night-blooming cactus. At the base of the sail, the three-story atrium welcomes patient families with its shaded transparent glass walls and colorfully animated interiors glowing from within. The south façade is transformed by the winged parapet on the eastern end of the roof, boldly reaching out to the community. The evening transformation will create a purple glow, like a beacon of hope for the children of Phoenix.
To support the hospital’s mission of treating the entire family and not just the patient, care has been taken to improve the patient/family journey the moment one steps on campus and experiences the whimsical and lush landscaping accented by bold colors, playful sculpture and indigenous plant material. The dramatic three-story atrium welcomes visitors in a shaded glass sanctuary. The facility utilizes indigenous color, playful animal sculpture, and desert flowers to organize each floor vertically. Vertical stacking reduces horizontal travel for medical and support staff. Strategic daylighting calms major spaces, punctuates corridors and creates painted vistas within individual rooms. Unique places of escape tie the indoors and outdoors together, providing family choice and control. From the colorful stage of the atrium light wall, to the rooftop play garden, to the intimate dining and meditation gardens linking new and existing construction, every square foot of the campus is utilized to the fullest promoting good land stewardship. Parking garages hidden behind sculptural walls flank the main entrance, providing patients and visitors with adjacent shaded parking and walkways. The hospital consists of private, single-patient rooms – promoting patient control, family-centered care, infection control and caregiver access. Flat-screen televisions and individual TV/DVD and lighting devices are designed to allow patient control of their environment. All patient rooms are designed to include family members as a part of the caregiving team. Family sleeper sofas as well as seating areas with computer access are part of each of the non-critical care patient rooms. Family waiting areas – which incorporate views to nature and public seating areas with flat-screen televisions and café tables for eating or playing cards or board games – are centrally located on the unit. Patient-specific playrooms are also located centrally on the unit. All public elevator lobbies provide views to the outside and directly connect patient families to clinical and public functions. Flexible pediatric clinics are grouped in expandable modular units to ebb and flow with daily need. Invasive sedated procedures are collocated for efficient prep and recovery service. Inpatient units are de-centrally staffed as intimate clusters, but each floor accommodates 48 flexible beds with family, faculty and staff support areas. A landscaped rooftop garden – decorated with oversized planters and located on the third floor – provides a play area, outdoor dining and lounge seats for patients, families and staff.
Project goals support a beautifully functional solution that is sensitive to its surroundings and responsible to its environment. The tower has been carefully crafted to respond to the Phoenix sun. The building was modeled with computer-simulated sun diagrams to maximize daylight potential and minimize heat gain. The curvilinear form on the north face is designed to respond well to the sun, which reaches around the east and west faces of the region. Outdoor courtyards are well-shaded in summer months allowing families and staff to escape, if only for a moment. Local materials have been used including major masonry materials and colorful, low-maintenance masonry. Bold accent colors are derived from plant and animal life typical of this region, including birds and cactus blooms. The project has been crafted to minimize off-gassing and maximize recycled products. The facility is designed to seamlessly grow in subsequent phases – first growing westward, as the need arises, and then to the east replacing the original buildings which will have far exceeded their life expectancy.