Project category: New construction (completed April 2001)

Chief administrator: Mary A. Beck, Senior VP of Planning & Program Development, (919) 966-1129

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

Design team: Glenn Corley, AIA, Principal (Corley, Redfoot, Zack, Inc.); Craig Beale, FAIA, FACHA, RIBA, CHE, CHC, Principal, Senior VP (HKS, Inc.); Jim Mitchell, Senior VP (HKS Structural); Clay Seckman, Principal (Smith Seckman Reid, Inc.); Susan Little (Little & Little)

Photography: Ed LaCasse, LaCasse Photography

Total building area (GSF): 440,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $268

Total cost (excluding land): $118,000,000

An array of comprehensive women's and specialty children's services are introduced through the construction of the North Carolina Children's Hospital and the North Carolina Women's Hospital for University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill. The hospital, one of the largest public building projects in North Carolina history, is comprised of two interlinking buildings.

“Through the design, we achieved a welcoming and positive entry to our facility, which was a key goal,” said Mary A. Beck, senior vice-president of planning and program development, University of North Carolina Hospitals. “We also created a pedestrian concourse that interconnects the two new buildings to the former main facility entrance to the North Carolina Neurosciences Hospital. The concourse serves as a powerful wayfinding tool for the medical complex.”

The children's hospital project includes 136 critical and acute care beds in addition to general and specialty pediatric clinics. “The children's hospital design is based on human-centered care for patients, families, physicians, and nursing staff,” said Jeff Stouffer, designer and senior vice-president, HKS, Inc. “We took a Disney organizational approach of ‘on- stage’ and ‘off-stage’ circulation systems. The on-stage areas create a sense of healing, inspiration, distraction, and wellness. The off-stage areas for staff inspire while supporting the hospital's mission and academic goals of the medical school faculty.”

The facility's focus is on education, progressive technology, and a playful environment. Every patient room in the new hospital is private and has a private bathroom and a convertible sofa, allowing a parent to stay overnight. Patient care units in the hospital have attractively furnished waiting areas with family lounges. A penthouse play zone for all ages includes special places designed for each age group, providing a safe haven to escape and be a child.

The women's hospital offers a full range of healthcare services designed to meet women's needs throughout their lives, from general wellness and preventive screening to the most sophisticated specialty care.

“Gracious, distinctive, supportive interior environments house a full range of women's outpatient and inpatient services,” said Stouffer. “Interior materials are warm, colorful, and long lasting. The design vocabulary is timeless, abstract, and geometric in detail, while the exterior materials blend with the medical campus, creating a cohesive image distinct from the university campus.”