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The HKS-designed Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children received an Honorable Mention award from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). The Healthcare Interior Design Competition honors and celebrates outstanding originality and excellence in the design and furnishings of healthcare interior spaces.
Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children (BRHFC) opened in August 2012, marking the highly anticipated completion of the 12-story, 760,000-square-foot, $400 million expansion at Children’s of Alabama, the state’s only freestanding pediatric hospital. The design concept began as an exploration of connecting the new hospital, literally and figuratively, to the fabric of the city and region.
HKS, Inc., in partnership with Giattina Aycock Studio, served as architect. KLMK Group was project manager; Hoar Construction, in partnership with KBR, served as construction manager.
“Upon entering, the real journey begins to unfold,” said Iris Dates, IIDA, vice president and director of design for healthcare interiors. “A child takes a journey of interactive play, and has many opportunities to be inquisitive. Glowing kaleidoscope pieces then turn into reflective terrazzo flooring patterns that sparkle from the colored lights above, an interactive light wall, a greeter’s desk and a spiral staircase create interest throughout the journey. Botanical images, regional art forms and specific color palettes provide wayfinding while whispering memories of home. Textured porcelain wall tiles that mimic different animal skins create positive distractions and interactive play at every turn.”
Patients, families and visitors find their way through the building using any of several visual cues that have been incorporated into the hospital’s interior design. A blue patient-journey curving pattern within the terrazzo floors winds through the public areas, directing foot traffic to and from entrances, elevators and patient care areas. All patient floors and rooms are identified not only by number, but also by color and a special theme unique to each floor.
According to IIDA President Felice Silverman, one of the judges for the competition, the winning entries represent the best of healthcare design in a variety of solutions. “Whether a pediatric hospital, an urban medical office building, a hospice, a senior living facility or a hospital, each project carefully considered the patient population it was designed for. They demonstrate that there is no ‘one size fits all’ in great healthcare design.”
HKS is ranked among the top healthcare architectural firms in the world by Modern Healthcare and BD World Architecture. Operating from 28 offices worldwide, HKS focuses on innovative healthcare design, process and delivery. The firm’s award-winning healthcare architecture includes 1,600 unique projects representing 78,000 beds and 166 million square feet. HKS projects have garnered numerous awards and coverage in worldwide publications. The firm’s healthcare specialists are highly respected international speakers.
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