A “hospital within a hospital,” the existing Children's Hospital at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC) is lacking its own identity. Its services are dispersed throughout the huge complex, and it even shares its entry with the main hospital. Because of limited expansion capabilities within the UWHC complex and because many patient rooms are undersized for today's needs, a new hospital will be built.

Project category: Project in progress (July 2007)

Chief administrator: David Berry, Vice-President, (608) 265-0303

Firm: HDR - Omaha, (402) 399-1110

Design team: Jim Hohenstein, Senior Designer; Bob Holm, Senior Interior Designer (HDR - Omaha); Clark Miller, Senior Project Manager; Greg Sloniger, Senior Project Architect; Mike Doiel, Healthcare Principal (HDR - Chicago)

Illustration: Robert Hanna; HDR - Omaha

Total building area (sq. ft.): 298,714

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $249

Total construction cost (excluding land): $74,476,896

The newly named American Family Children's Hospital (AFCH) will be designed to meet the following objectives, among others: to create a world-class facility, totally integrating clinical, academic, and research activities into one children's healthcare institution; to “right-size” existing departments; to allow for growth in new programs; to share support services with UWHC but establish an independent pediatric facility; and to embrace an atmosphere that is cheery and “childlike” but not childish.

Adjacent to the existing UWHC complex, AFCH will have six levels of patient care and will contain more than 298,714 square feet of building, including 84 private inpatient beds and interstitial and shelled space, plus parking for 300 cars. Arriving patients and visitors will be greeted by the predominant public space for the hospital, a two-story, light-filled atrium.

The exterior will be sympathetic to its residential neighbors and will use a palette of materials similar to those already used for newer buildings at the UWHC complex. The parking deck will be built into an existing hill below the main entry to hide it from view.