First Look: Golisano Children's Hospital Of Southwest Florida
The new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida expands Lee Memorial Health System’s pediatric care. The new building will be located on the existing HealthPark Medical Center Campus in Fort Myers, Fla., and will follow these guiding principles:
- Embody a regional brand that provides Tier 1 services and is easily recognizable to the region and state
- Provide focus on patients, families, and caregivers, empowering them with inspiration, hope, and healing
- Create a unique design that provides a welcoming, efficient environment that’s integrated with nature, supportive of technology, and flexible for the future.
The new building is oriented with a long southern face that's optimal for solar economies and is also configured to capture the best views. Landscaped grounds and lakes bordering the site are evident to the west and south. Views towards the north from the upper floors capture distant waterways along the nearby Gulf Coast and Caloosahatchee River.
Nature is an important aspect to the healing process, so the site development includes a variety of outdoor environments, native habitat adventure walks, and children’s play areas.
An activity garden, adjacent to the building entry, incorporates child-friendly sculptures to initiate the arrival experience. Four distinct areas are included:
- The Discovery Garden—shade sails, aquatic animal-themed play sculptures, water feature, butterfly garden, and serpentine seat walls
- The Meditation Garden—trellises, privacy walls, quiet water feature
- The Public Art Garden—ellipse walk, sculpture displays, conversation areas
- The Terrace—colorful umbrella tables, a patio to host special events and gatherings; planted medians between parking aisles soften the presence of vehicles; landscaped pedestrian walks connect visitors from parking areas to building entries; and planting at the site edge improves the community face of the campus.
The architecture also creates a more iconic aesthetic for the Golisano Children’s Hospital, featuring glass towers, layered planes, solar trellises, and graceful curves. A combination of frit-patterned glass, precast concrete, and metal panels distinguish individual building elements. These materials are proportioned to balance scale, reinforce identity, and align cost.
The south and north elevations of the tower employ an iridescent aluminum metal panel layered over patterned glass to frame patient rooms. Vertical solar fins and white pre-cast columns shield east-west glare. A two-level, recessed, clear glass wall at the main entry provides relief to the eight-level facade to promote a welcoming experience. The curving south facade eases the tower back in concert with the existing building.
A new connection is provided from the lobby of the new Children’s Hospital to the HealthPark atrium. This concourse appears as a transparent activity link to the existing facility and provides access to the healing garden. The gift shop, family resource center, grab-and-go café, and community room are a few of the discovery zones that help to create a family-centered environment.
- Construction: Skanska/Gates (construction manager)
- Architecture: FKP Inc. (pediatric design, Children’s tower); Harvard Jolly Inc. (architect of record)
- Interior design: FKP Interiors (Children’s tower); Harvard Jolly Inc. (renovations)
- Landscape architecture: Harvard Jolly Inc.
- Engineering: Smith Seckman Reid Inc.( MEP and fire protection); Walter P Moore (structural); TKW Consulting Engineers (local structural); Johnson Engineering Inc. (civil); Keane Acoustics Inc. (acoustic)
- Envelope consultant: Construction Moisture Consulting Inc.
- Medical equipment: Ethenics Inc.