Stanley Beaman & Sears creates an 'urban oasis' for children with disabilities
The newly completed Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Outpatient Center is a freestanding, six-storey, 115,000 sq ft building that consolidates Kennedy Krieger Institute’s outpatient services into a singular footprint with green space to share within its urban setting. The building’s placement in a rough but changing neighbourhood, and the corner of the Johns Hopkins campus, represents the Institute’s potential for growth, expansion and relationship with the city.
The patients involved in the multiple programs at Kennedy Krieger arrive with complex medical conditions, many requiring multi-disciplinary care. Faced with this challenge, the design team focused on creating a building that would express the power of potential and create life-affirming surroundings by opening multiple spaces to natural light. The design team envisioned the building as a three-part process; Therapy (Body), Research (Mind) and Hope (Spirit); and worked collaboratively to integrate multiple therapy environments, public spaces and wayfinding. The design goal was to express these concepts in a fully unified design that offers a variety of experiences to the patient, the patient’s family and staff.
The multi-storey building orientates the lobby and therapy spaces towards northern light, and clinic space is provided privacy on the southern façade. The uppermost floor contains the Therapy Pool with natural light, panoramic views and patient privacy. The modular, height-adjustable pool floor provides a seamless transition for the patient and therapist. The Physical Therapy Gym and Spinal Cord Gym, also located in the northwest corner of the building, also provide volumes of natural light and an integrated, ceiling-mounted patient lift system for easy therapy transitions. The Therapy Garden offers patients, family and staff multiple water features, outdoor therapy ‘rooms’ with walking surfaces, as well as quiet shaded areas. The overall interior and exterior building experience creates a welcoming space for patients, families, staff and the surrounding community.