Project Category - Project in Progress (July 2003)

Facility Contact - Pat Leyden, Vice-President, Facilities Development, (619) 576-5911

Firm - Anshen + Allen, Architects, (415) 882-9500

Design Team - Anshen + Allen, Architects, Architect of Record; Ove Arup & Partners, Structural Engineers; Syska & Hennessy, Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Engineers; Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey, Landscape Architects; Aesthetics, Inc., signage and artwork

Patient/Bed Capacity - 59

Total Building Area (sq. ft.) - 115,000

Total Land Area (acres) - N/A

Total Cost - $28,900,000 (total project)

First Floor
This unique 59-bed replacement hospital will provide a new 115,000-sq.-ft., distinct-part skilled nursing facility for the long-term care of permanently disabled children-the only such facility in the state of California. Deinstitutionalizing the hospital to create a residentially scaled environment and balancing privacy with opportunities for varying degrees of communal interaction are essential goals of the design.

A wide, recessed, covered entrance to the lobby serves as the building's figurative “front porch” for arriving visitors and a gathering place for groups of children as they are assembled for boarding buses to off-site educational programs. Shared, two-bed patient rooms lining the perimeter of two floors are all designed to give all residents/patients equal direct outdoor access to a garden or balcony, visible from a floor-to-ceiling window wall. Large built-in closets and shelving allow for storing clothing and displaying belongings to personalize children's individual spaces. Bathrooms are designed to be fully accessible for gurneys.

Centrally located staff and support services ring a cylindrical courtyard that brings daylight to the core of the building and opens to distant views on one side, offering an unobstructed sightline from the lobby through the length of the hospital. Typical 8-foot-wide institutional corridors have been expanded at interior circulation nodes overlooking the courtyard, to create larger alcoves, or “living rooms,” where visiting family members can gather with their child.


Places for special activities, including rooms designed for dining and water therapy and a “sensorium” (equipped for music, aromatherapy and colored lighting) are treated as geometrically distinct objects attached to the exterior, and they are more brightly colored than the otherwise neutral stucco palette of the hospital and its neighboring medical campus structures.


In this, The Children's Hospital and Health Center, Anshen+Allen and The Center for Health Design have partnered to conduct a unique research program, coined “the Pebble Project” (reflecting a desire to create a wider ripple effect within the healthcare community, analogous to a pebble thrown into a pond), to document, measure and compare the relative success of clinical outcomes, as well as patient, family and staff satisfaction, between the existing hospital and its precedent-setting new replacement.