Children's Regional Medical Center is designed to be inviting to children, families, and staff. A welcoming, life-size giraffe leans playfully over the entry balcony. The colorful, friendly environment—complete with murals and touchable, nearly life-size giraffes, zebras, and elephants—hosts a variety of exciting themes. The first-floor lobby and public areas include an African savannah theme, while a sunny beach theme is depicted on the second floor. The third and fourth floors capture the charm of “Our Town” and the wetlands.

The facility offers larger, single-bed rooms to give patients and their families more space, privacy, and control over their environment. The additional space includes room for family members, including cabinets for storage and a sofa bed, and helps physicians, nurses, and technicians maneuver medical equipment.

Outdoor spaces are located throughout the new building. The third-floor terrace features a rooftop healing garden with benches, private seating areas, and views to the African-savannah animals. A heated and covered outdoor patio provides patients, visitors, and staff with a view to the outdoors, while an adjacent café offers a variety of quick-serve foods, from ice cream to lattes.

The exterior is designed to complement the existing campus and nearby neighborhoods. Expansive Solarban glass brings the outside into the hospital. The building's stepped fa¸ade takes advantage of the sloped site, creating interesting views to treetops, water, the hillside, and Lake Washington. Its scale is broken down into three separate, smaller modules to better interact with the scale of the existing neighborhood.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed January 2004)

Chief administrator: Ruth Benfield, FACHE, Administrator, (206) 987-2178

Firm: HKS, Inc., (214) 969-5599

Design team: Jeff Stouffer, AIA, Principal Designer (HKS, Inc.); David Scalzo, Project Manager (Sellen Construction); Civil & Structural Engineers, CoughlinPorterLundeen; Richard Moeller, PE, Principal-in-Charge (CDi Engineers); Thomas Leonidas, Jr., PE, Principal-in-Charge (Sparling)

Photography: Ed LaCasse; John Edwards

Total building area (sq. ft.): 103,800

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $269

Total construction cost (excluding land): $27,922,200