A Transformative Environment for Hope and Healing
The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP) of UPMC sits at the intersection of research-based design and best-in-class pediatric care. When CHP found its existing facility overcrowded and outdated, they partnered with CannonDesign to design a state-of-the-art healing environment for children and their families.
Rooting Process in Experiential Research
- Through a highly immersive design research process, the design team worked to ensure that the facility would meet the needs of hospital staff, parents, and — most importantly — the children receiving care.
- One-on-one interviews, ethnography exercises, sensory and color analyses, and brainstorming sessions provided guiding principles for how the facility should look and feel. As a result of this research, every design decision was made with attention to how end users would experience the space.
Using Metaphor to Drive Design
- Through the research process, Transformation, Control, Connection, and Energy emerged as key metaphors for the way users should interact with the hospital, which ultimately translated into design elements.
- For example, the walls of the transformation corridor — which connects the parking garage and hospital — use lighting, texture, flooring, and pattern changes to illustrate the visual effect of a cocoon turning into a butterfly.
- The fundamental notion that the right environment helps patients and families transform from an unbalanced to a balanced state lies at the heart of the design.
Creating Space for Family-Centered Care
- Above all else, CHP is a place where children feel comfortable while receiving treatment and staff are happy providing care, as indicated by increased satisfaction scores a year after opening.
- Pioneering the family-centered care model, the design provides patients and their families with the privacy and amenities of home. An invigorating color palette and kid-friendly textures and materials inspire a playful feeling throughout the hospital.
- Lounges, improved overnight accommodations, a kitchenette, laundry facilities, and a school and business center help to maintain order during what can be a chaotic time for many families.
- Patient rooms have increased intimacy and control, with the ability to display personal items and adjust lighting and bed height.
- A whimsical outdoor healing garden provides a rejuvenating space for staff, patients, and families alike.
As a partner, through groundbreaking research, innovative design, and dedication, CannonDesign exceeded our expectations in designing a world-class facility that has enhanced the healing environment and will positively impact patient outcomes for generations to come.
– Roger A. Oxendale, Former CEO, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Staff and patient satisfaction scores increased by at least ten points across seven different measures one year after opening.