Revitalizing a Campus to Support a Bold Vision for Children’s Health

Dayton Children’s Hospital, Master Plan and Patient Tower, Dayton, Ohio

Encumbered with facilities over a half-century old and aged beyond their useful life, Dayton Children’s Hospital teamed up with us to create a facilities master plan to support its system-wide, strategic vision called Destination 2020. The planning process entailed extensive collaboration with physicians, staff and patient families, and the resulting plan identifies the new spaces needed to help the hospital achieve its bold goals. The first phase in the campus renewal includes replacement of an aging bed tower, data center and power plant, as well as demolition of two existing structures. Future phases will accommodate new diagnostics, critical care and acute care services.

After completing the master plan, we were engaged to design an eight-story patient tower, which houses a comprehensive cancer and blood disorders center, a Level III regional newborn intensive care unit, a critical care complex and a general pediatrics inpatient unit. The design theme for the tower is “things that fly,” which honors Dayton’s rich aviation heritage and innovation in flight. Upon entering the building, visitors notice themed elements the moment they walk into the lobby and three-story atrium called the Take Flight Gallery. Filled with light, color and whimsy, this space houses a number of destinations, including a full-service cafeteria, café, gift shop and areas designed for respite and relaxation.

Wayfinding plays off the design theme with each floor having a designated number, color and playful icon, selected from things that fly, both manmade like hot-air balloons or things found in nature, such as hummingbirds. To encourage families and patients to step outside, the building includes a rooftop play space featuring playful skylights looking into the atrium and a mosaic created in part by Dayton Children’s patients, staff and partners.