Thursday 16 Dec 2010


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Cannon Design create 'hospital within a hospital' for children in Illinois

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center is an affiliate of the University of Illinois' College of Medicine at Peoria and home to the Children's Hospital of Illinois (CHOI), a 'hospital within a hospital' providing the only comprehensive pediatric specialty and sub-specialty services in central Illinois.

The Milestone Project consists of 440,000 sq ft of new construction and 35,000 sq ft of renovation of existing space, site development, and infrastructure improvements. The addition consolidates CHOI inpatient services, including PICU, NICU and general pediatrics, as well as providing a separate CHOI entrance and lobby within 200,000 sq ft of the new building. The addition also houses various adult services such as a relocated emergency department, main entrance and lobby, 192 inpatient beds, relocated surgery department, ICU, vascular/cath labs and support and public functions. A dedicated POD hospital, OSF features a Level 1 Trauma Center with two hospital-owned helicopters.

As a Catholic hospital with St. Francis of Assisi as their patron saint, OSF wanted to ensure that the project's design conveyed the significance of his life, yet at the same time, provided an engaging and educational environment for children, and conveyed a sense of medical excellence for all patients and families. Serving a diverse region in central Illinois, patients often traveled from distances and due to the high acuity level of the patients cared for in the facility, providing for family needs were extremely important as the design of spaces was developed.

Inspiration was drawn from the prayer of St. Francis, The Canticle of the Sun, and allowed for the design team to create a framework for the building's design that incorporated variety, interest as well as a strategy for wayfinding. The resultant project is one that is infused with a sense of life and nature. A vibrant full-spectrum color palette was chosen to address the needs of children as they are in the hospital. Children respond to the environment differently than adults: their point of view is lower, scale of spaces and forms can impact them adversely and the interesting use of clear, vibrant saturations of colour can provide a positive distraction for adventurous minds.

At the same time, we were challenged to design for the needs of the adult population the building serves. While still colorful, the manner in which colour is applied and the palettes used in adult areas are more sophisticated and restrained. All details throughout the building respond to the Canticle, including the use of artwork, wayfinding and graphics.


Cannon Design