As the first step in a comprehensive and complex phasing strategy to upgrade its facilities, the University of Minnesota Childrens Hospital, Fairview, is adding a childrens hospital on its Riverside campus. The nine-story building will bring a leading-edge pediatric care center to Minneapolis while supporting the hospitals research and patient- and family-centered care objectives. In addition, the project includes underground parking, a new Pediatric Emergency Department, and an expansion of the hospitals existing imaging department and surgical suite.
The plan calls for a distinctive identity for the Childrens Hospital while also ensuring a coherent, unified campus where the wayfinding makes navigation easy for patients, staff, and visitors. The massing and organization of the building reinforces the street edge and provides a prominent presence for the hospital along the main thoroughfare of Riverside Avenue. A one-story glass faade welcomes incoming visitors.
The guiding principle of the project was to create the best environment to provide and receive childrens health care. The design incorporates patient/family-centered care concepts, Lean principles and features shown by evidence-based design to improve the patient, family, and staff experience.
The building is organized by four neighborhoods of nursing units that are autonomous towers clustered at each corner. Interstitial areas that house the family lounge, playroom, and staff education room connect the towers. Natural light penetrates through these areas into the floor plate, illuminating the daily activities of patients, visitors, and staff. The transparency of the interstitial space on the south faade also promotes an urban connection between the hospital and the community, while the spaces on the east and west provide views and natural light. Inpatient rooms, examination rooms, and procedure spaces are designed to accommodate and encourage family participation in a childs healing process.
Lean principles yielded a highly efficient, decentralized floor plan. Diagnostic and testing services are located near their corresponding clinics and bed floors. The modified race track organization keeps nurses close to patient rooms. Each six-bed neighborhood is supported by a team station with its own medication and nourishment areas, clean supply, and soiled holding. The core also houses other support functions including workrooms, on-call rooms, offices, equipment, a staff break room, a locker room, and housekeeping.