Project category: Project in progress (January 2009)

Chief administrator: Walter Noce, Jr., President and CEO, (323) 660-2450

Firm: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, (213) 617-1901

Design team: Ted A. Hyman, AIA, Partner-in-Charge; Doss Mabe, FAIA, Design Partner; Dusty Rhoads, AIA, LEED, Design Partner; James Woolum, Interior Designer; Lisa Padilla, AIA, Urban Designer

Photography: Adrian Velicescu, Standard Photography; RMA Photography, Inc.

Total building area (sq. ft.): 460,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $326

Total construction cost (excluding land): $150,000,000

To meet the seismic standards required by California State Senate Bill 1953, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) undertook a master-planning effort that resulted in a series of projects. The first phase included the new, 100,000-square-foot Saban Research Institute that doubled existing research space for new initiatives to be undertaken in neuroscience and medical genetics. Subsequently, a new 453-space, below-grade parking structure was located on the south side of Sunset Boulevard, along with a new lobby, entry court, and gardens.

The new 280-bed, 460,000-square-foot Patient Tower will provide acute care pediatric facilities, diagnostic and ancillary services, and a Level I emergency department/trauma center. The majority of the structure will be seven stories. An emergency heliport will be located on top of the tower. This new tower was designed to address the unique environment of a pediatric facility while accommodating the needs of inpatients and caregivers from the diverse community. During the programming process, focus groups were held with families and patients to determine concerns and needed improvements, including sleeping areas, living rooms inside and outside the care units, age-appropriate diversions within the patient rooms and playrooms, access to familiar foods, adequate privacy, and outdoor spaces.