Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 16

MICHAEL ROBINSON
LEFT: Budget-friendly
hand-painted murals
with iconography support
wayfinding. A flexible
artwork display system
surrounds the space
with children's artwork.
BELOW: Classrooms are
designed to emulate a
safe, comfortable home.
The entrances feature
bold colors and graphics
that help children quickly
identify their space.
educated designers on the special needs of the patients, families,
staff, clinicians, and teachers who would be using the facility. For example,
staff and board members explained the importance of creating
safe, quiet spaces for children to process their feelings. Yet they also
stressed the importance of children remaining visible at all times to
ensure they don't hurt themselves. The design team responded by suggesting
open, child-sized house structures in each classroom, giving
children privacy to process their feelings.
participants identified four key user groups-
children, staff, families, and the community-
and how they wanted each group to feel when
they entered the space. This process helped establish
goals for the building form, as words like
" welcoming, " " safe, " " inspired, " " healing, " and
" hopeful " were repeatedly mentioned.
Next, a dot poll exercise was used to help establish
a clear design aesthetic. Dozens of images
of each space type, including classrooms,
therapy rooms, indoor play spaces, entry, and
more, were pinned up in a room. Participants
were given sticky dots-three green and two
red-and asked to place them on images they
liked and disliked and then share their reasoning
with the group. This process helped build
consensus on the look and feel of the design
and created an opportunity to discuss unique
considerations for this patient population, like
safety issues and visual connectivity.
An adjacency exercise, in which the team
thought about relationships between different
programs and departments, informed the
space program. Because the previous building
didn't have dedicated clinical therapy space
integrated with day treatment, the team discussed
the importance of locating classrooms
and therapy rooms adjacent to one another to
allow children to move back and forth seamlessly
and encourage collaboration between
staff and therapists.
From this collaborative process emerged four
qualitative goals for the project: increase visibility,
provide program excellence, celebrate
culture, and expand services. Additional meetings
with each user group informed quantitative
requirements including the required number of
classrooms and therapy rooms.
These meetings and conversations also
16
DECEMBER 2021
WARM WELCOME
Opened at the end of 2020, the 35,000-square-foot facility houses seven
classrooms; separate therapy rooms, including outpatient, occupational,
speech motor, and parent-child interaction; testing rooms; and staff offices.
To foster a sense of belonging for children and adults from the moment
they arrive, the design utilizes thoughtful graphics and architectural
elements to create a welcoming and noninstitutional setting. " The
space was designed to feel like a healthy, secure home for children who
may not otherwise know what that is like, " says Ann Thomas, president
and CEO of The Children's Place. " Each classroom is designed to mimic
familiar spaces in a home while promoting creativity, play, and healing. "
Specifically, the " front porch " of the classrooms greets children with
simple wayfinding strategies using a playful color palette and letters in
the entryway, hallways, and outside each door, promoting autonomous
wayfinding for children who can't read. Inside the classroom, daylit
zones for learning, imaginative play, and quiet time make up the " living
room. " The " back porch " provides direct access to outdoor classrooms
and an expansive, private outdoor playground called the " backyard. "
The design was also tailored to help foster independence in
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Healthcare Design - December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - December 2021

Healthcare Design - December 2021 - Cover1
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 1
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 2
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 3
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 4
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 5
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 6
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 7
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 8
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - 9
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Healthcare Design - December 2021 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - December 2021 - Cover4
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