Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Opens The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care: FKP Architects Promises New Patient Experience with Innovative Design

The recently opened Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care by FKP Architects responds to the hospital's request to create the ideal patient experience.

Houston, TX, December 13, 2015 --( The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is now open and set to change pediatric healthcare. CHOP, FKP Architects and Pelli Clarke Pelli worked under lofty guiding principles to conceive a building like no other children’s hospital in existence today. The new 12-story, 706,000 sf center is designed to reduce the length of patient visits, ease stress on patient families, and increase CHOP’s ability to meet complex pediatric health needs from around the world.

The undulating glass façade of the building is lined with primary colors. It represents the movement and exuberance of children, a theme of “Children in Motion” the project team also carried throughout the interiors. The main lobby has a walking ramp with interactive displays that can double as a venue for physical therapy. Likewise, a rock-climbing wall rises on the fourth floor. Even the spacious, light-filled waiting areas, dubbed “Wait. Play. Learn.”, encourage exploratory and educational play.

During the center’s early design stages, the team gathered input from focus groups that included hundreds of families and medical professionals to help identify the important features of the building. The result is the Guiding Principles of the Buerger Center – create the ideal patient experience; deliver family-centered care; improve outpatient care operational efficiency; and become the pediatric healthcare destination of choice. One major design outcome is the layout of service areas. Complementary care providers are clustered into “neighborhoods of care” to facilitate clinician and staff collaboration, and to simplify visits for patients and their families. A child with a skeletal injury can see an orthopedic surgeon, have X-rays, get casting and visit the rehab center all on the same floor.

The jewel of the new center is a 14,000-square-foot roof garden on the sixth floor, the first and largest of its kind at a pediatric outpatient facility. The garden will provide horticultural therapy, a relatively new kind of care that engages patients in plant-based activities, guided by a trained therapist. The garden has different walking surfaces that aid in physical therapy, from concrete steps to those that mimic a city curb, and a running path that cuts through the middle of the garden. An integrated water feature is shaped like the nearby Schuylkill River.

"A visit to the hospital can be a long and emotional process, for patients and their families,” said Diane Osan, Chairman and Chief Visionary Officer of FKP Architects in Houston. “The Buerger Center is a response to the question of ‘how can we make this easier and less stressful for all those involved in the care journey?’ Indoor areas are meant for play for patients of all abilities. The garden can offer relief from physical and cognitive impairments, reduce stress and inspire hope. A building can’t take away patient ills, but it can make the treatment and recovery process easier.”

4,200 donors – more than 1,300 of them CHOP employees – helped raise over $96 million towards design and construction of the Buerger Center. A landmark $50 million gift by the Buerger family, as well as a $200 million bond issue, hospital reserves and other gifts also helped to fund the project. Phase I includes the first floor, clinical levels 2-5 and a 1,500 vehicle parking garage. Phase II, scheduled to open in 2017, will include clinical levels 6-7. The whole facility is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification. Pelli Clarke Pelli is the Design Architect. The Buerger Center sits on Civic Center Boulevard, across the street and just south of the main hospital. More project details are available at

About FKP Architects
FKP Architects delivers more than architecture in the healthcare, research, and education market sectors. The firm engages its promise of Transforming business by design® across all core services of architecture, interior design, equipment planning, and operational consulting. FKP clients include top-tier pediatric healthcare institutions, community and academic medical campuses, and life science and higher education institutions. Recent representative projects include Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands Campus in The Woodlands, TX; JPS Health Network Medical Home in Arlington, TX; Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care, Philadelphia, PA; and The University of Texas Medical Branch Education Center Programming, Galveston, TX. For more information, visit
FKP Architects
Carrie Stallwitz
Carson Wyatt