“Create a consistent, unified campus that is both elegant and playful through the use of colorful, childlike interior elements that are timeless, ageless, and durable.” This simple design goal was the core building block for the design and planning for this renovation project. This hospital represents quality patient care, and creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment supports the care, experience, and outcomes for staff, patients, and their families.

While the renovation and expansion spaces—the 140-bed Newborn Intensive Care Center, the Ronald McDonald Family Sleep Center, the Emergency Center's Rapid Treatment and Ambulatory Treatment Centers, a gift shop, a chapel, and support areas—differ in form and function, they all contribute to a state-of-the-art environment that is flexible and family-friendly.

Design and planning of the Newborn Intensive Care Center consolidated three separate bed units, expanded the number of beds, and created a new image conducive to the specialized care of infants and support of staff. A “focus of care” concept around the newborn infants, involving parents, physicians, nurses, and ancillary staff, was translated into a pinwheel design of four bed clusters that maximizes team care and offers a unique image solution. Designed as the infants' transition home to the real world, the pinwheel pods incorporate simple shapes, basic colors, multiple types of lighting, acoustic sensitivities, and medical technologies.

The new concourse level formally links the hospital's major buildings and is the home for public amenities such as waiting and admitting, the gift shop, the chapel, and patient relations. Consistent with all the renovation spaces is the use of bright colors, geometric shapes, and patterns that are complemented with wood accents in wall paneling and furniture, invoking a welcoming atmosphere for patients, visitors, and staff.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed November 2003)

Chief administrator: Mark Wallace, President and CEO, (832) 824-1160

Firm: FKP Architects, Inc., (713) 621-2100

Design team: Paul Gloriod, AIA, ACHA, Project Manager; Gary S. Owens, AIA, ACHA, Senior Project Designer; Ken Swanson, AIA, Senior Project Architect (FKP Architects, Inc.); David McCoy, PE, Senior Project Engineer (Burns, Delatte, McCoy, Inc.)

Photography: Hester & Hardaway Photographers

Total building area (sq. ft.): 87,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $149

Total construction cost (excluding land): $13,000,000