Young children, teenagers, staff, and parents are a lot of constituents to please in a small space. Comfortably fitting nine treatment bays, a spacious nurses' station, and a relaxation area for teenage patients into 2,700 square feet of renovated space created an inviting Hematology/Oncology Unit at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. The new area significantly improves the treatment processes and provides a calming, comforting environment for patients, families, and staff. The original clinic, adjacent to this new, more spacious location, is now available for expansion of the unit as demand increases.

The designers crafted an open and airy unit with two distinct zones: a patient area and a central nurses' station with sight lines to all patients. The designers employed bold, lively colors; imaginative lighting with twinkling Starfire ceiling fixtures; treatment lounge chairs roomy enough for patients and favorite distractions such as stuffed animals, books, and video games; upholstered visitors' chairs; and built-in cabinetry in the Teen Room. The sweeping soffit and multiple Starfire lights give visual relief to those patients who prefer to have their treatment chairs reclined. Depth and interest were provided to the unit's walls with the use of materials such as Imago. The nurses' station is surrounded by low countertops so that staff and patients can interact easily. The recessed work surfaces offer staff ample charting space while keeping equipment low enough to see over, so as to permit visual contact with patients.

Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed April 2005)

Chief administrator: Thomas Ferry, CEO, (302) 651-4011

Firm: Array Healthcare Facilities Solutions, (610) 270-0599

Design team: Lisa N. Lipschutz, AIA, ACHA, Lead Designer; Phillip Moffson, AIA, Project Manager; Floss McGrady, Interior Designer

Photography: ©2005 Halkin Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 2,770

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $505

Total construction cost (excluding land): $1,400,000

Nicole Gamba, unit nurse manager, observes, “The bright colors, spacious treatment areas, and state-of-the-art amenities make difficult days much more pleasant for the children and their families.”