HKS designs Phoenix Children's Hospital as 'a welcoming oasis of healing'
A bold vision for improved pediatric care requires an equally bold solution. Phoenix Children’s Hospital will become one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country. The new patient care tower addition designed by HKS Inc. strengthens its brand identity through a confident use of form, color and light enabling the facility to become an iconic building within Phoenix. The hospital’s mission of treating the entire family is depicted in the 'Big Idea' of creating an oasis of healing with the natural beauty of the Arizona desert. The design provides solace, positive distraction and stress reduction through way-finding clarity, breathtaking views and places of escape inside and out.
The architects' goal was to visually challenge the senses and inspire the soul creating the impression of awe, wonder and exploration while stimulating the imagination. Organisationally the goal was to provide way-finding clarity, operational efficiency and predictability by organising the campus with adjacent parking, defined entrances and the on stage, back stage separation of circulation. For patient, staff and materials movement efficiency, the addition was vertically organised reducing horizontal travel. The reduced footprint opened up clear expansion pathways while reducing initial site impact allowing the support services, dock and energy plant to be located one half block away for circulation separation.
The replaced central energy plant has dramatically reduced the power, water and cooling loads of the entire campus further reducing the carbon footprint of the facility. Solar modeling shaped the exterior form to maximise daylight and reduce heat gain in spring, summer and fall. Materials and colour choices were derived from the surrounding desert emulating a palette from the earth, flowers, birds and animals of the region.