Nemours Children's Hospital Wins Best of the Best
Nemours Children’s Hospital won two awards March 1st at IIDA’s Annual Best of the Best gala (Georgia Chapter). The first award was in the Healthcare Design category and the second was best overall out of all 11 categories, the Best of the Best. The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) is a professional networking and educational Association of 13,000 Members in 10 specialty practice forums and 31 Chapters around the world.
Most notable is the alignment of outpatient and inpatient care in a single building, whereas these functions are typically housed separately. Here, outpatient clinics and inpatient rooms devoted to a particular medical specialty are located in adjacent wings of the same floor, with shared waiting spaces. This enables a consistent care team who become familiar to children during both clinic visits and inpatient stays. “It’s a family of clinicians they know and see throughout their illness,” says Betsy Beaman, vice president and director of design at Stanley Beaman & Sears.
The project’s architectural solutions arose from consultation with the hospital’s full range of stakeholders, including practitioners, administrators, and a family advisory committee of parents and children. The hospital’s 24-hour visiting policy, meant to welcome and invite family involvement, led to strategies such as patient rooms with overnight accommodations for two parents, laundry facilities, and a concierge desk in the elevator lobby of each patient floor. Ample lounges and playrooms overlook and give access to extensive outdoor spaces designed for respite and recreation. These include landscaped rooftop terraces, interactive water features, a “discovery garden” and an outdoor community stage for live performances.
In this subtropical environment, intense sun and humidity are a major concern. Extensive solar studies not only allowed the landscape architecture to maximize agreeably shaded outdoor spaces, but also helped determine the design and placement of exterior shading devices that block direct sunlight while admitting abundant natural light to the interiors. In response to the area’s high water table, a curving ramp subtly raises the entry drive one level, allowing a daylight basement that accommodates the facility’s delivery and service functions while ensuring that these do not intersect the paths of patients and families. Rainwater drains naturally from rooftops and site into created bioswales and retention ponds.
The project’s 600,000-square-foot, $240-million first phase, which opened just last month, includes arrival and drop-off, 95 inpatient beds and 76 exam rooms (with shell space to accommodate another 32 beds and 24 exam rooms), emergency facilities, a central energy plant and a parking deck. The master plan anticipates expansion of inpatient and outpatient spaces and additional medical office, research and support buildings. A large team supported the design of the Nemours Children’s Hospital, including patient-care-team consultants Bowen & Briggs, Associate Architect: Perkins+Will, Inc., Hospital Interior Design Architect, Landscape designers AECOM (formally Glatting Jackson), civil engineers Harris Civil Engineering, structural engineers Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, mechanical electrical plumbing and fire protection consultants TLC Engineering for Architecture, lighting designers CD+M, medical equipment planners Source Atlantic, security consultants HSJ, and fountain consultant ADE.