In addition to thoughtful room layouts and pragmatic design, the entire space works to provide patients with the healing powers of nature they are otherwise unable to experience.
An eye-catching graphic in the elevator lobby ties together the floor’s three sub-themes that differentiate the floor’s three wings: Lake Michigan, wetlands, and streams. Corridors in each wing have portals in the walls with woodland and water creatures as interest points for children.They are used as a seek and find game and often used by physical therapists to get children up and moving. This, along with the incorporation of technology, bridges the gap between old and young and invites relationships to form between patient and staff.
The communal area features a large screen, with accompanying fiber optic lights, which is used for games and to transport children to their choice of setting. They can gaze into the night’s twinkling sky, take a trip underwater or relax at a lakeside campsite with crackling fire.
Inside the patient rooms, great care was taken to provide a bedroom feeling, over a clinical setting. Each room has its own selection of animal imagery. Shelves and an art rail allow children to decorate with their toys, creations and pictures. Color changing lighting in the rooms is controlled by the resident for additional personalization.
Design choices were made to leave things open to the imagination and constantly in motion. Chosen finishes create a space that isn’t overly literal. The ceiling tapers up and down throughout, there are abstract interpretations of waves and clouds, and at each room, an iridescent wall panel changes color, similar to the effect of rippling water. All intended to stimulate the mind and heal the body.