Executive Corner

Two new pediatric facilities demonstrate the variety of approaches designers can take to engage patients in pediatric facilities.

The Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Cleveland, is targeted to the care of adolescent cancer patients.

• The facility has a clean, contemporary design with dynamic pops of color intended to appeal to teens.

• Technology is embedded throughout the space. Patients can use interactive touch-screen displays to play video games, watch movies or access the Internet. Color-changing lights allow them to customize their environment, a tactic design firm Stanley Beaman & Sears, Atlanta, also employed at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla. “That feeling of control over your space and your environment is important to children of all ages,” says Karen S. Freeman, director of health care planning for SBS.

The Battle Building is an outpatient facility at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville.

• A graphics and wayfinding scheme is designed around themes expressed in classic children’s literature: adventure, discovery, friendship and imagination.

• “Consistent with these themes, books were selected for patients of all age ranges,” Freeman says. “From each of the books, an excerpt was identified and custom artwork was developed to explore more deeply the concepts within children’s stories.” 

• The facility features interactive walls, each comprising 40 multifaceted tiles that people can rotate manually to display three different images. These include art by notable children’s book illustrators like Chris Van Allsburg, author and illustrator of The Polar Express.

• The rotating tiles also display quotes from books in English and other languages. Some tiles include sensory play devices or tactile components for children with visual impairments. •