Healing Gardens

May 1st, 2009

Architecture Plus,

Plans have been unveiled for the expansion of Packard Children’s Hospital and development of the new Stanford Hospital in California, USA by two distinguished architectural firms: Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) and Rafael Viñoly Architects (RVA). The unveiling marks a milestone in advancing the hospitals’ plans to build for the future, increase capacity to meet the healthcare needs of the community and comply with State-mandated earthquake safety standards.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is expanding in order to meet the growing community needs for specialized pediatric and obstetric care. The 104-bed addition designed by KPF aims at promoting family-centered care and creates a welcoming, safe environment. The design motivation centers on the unique ‘journey’ that addresses the needs of pediatric and obstetric patients and their families. The journal begins at the ‘Explorer’s Pavilion’, a welcoming environment with information and patient services right at the front door. The public ‘trail’ along the garden leads families to their destinations and sanctuaries, either as inpatients, outpatients or visitors. Single-patient rooms are envisioned as the ‘nest’, and all have provisions for families to stay in the room with the patient. Places of respite, such as the ‘tree-houses’ that view the garden and exterior ‘overlooks’ are provided throughout the building. All patient areas are accessible to natural light and key departments are collocated for easy access and movement.

Designed from the ground up, the new hospital by RVA features modular pavilions adaptable for medical and technological advances that cannot even be imagined today; the 600-bed hospital is being designed to ensure flexibility for the future.

The architect’s vision for the new Stanford Hospital redefines the model of a healing environment to promote quality patient care, practitioner and staff achievement, and sustainability. Light-filled corridors with views to the foothills and beyond, as well as extensive use of gardens and outdoor courtyards, bring nature into the healing process and provide an uplifting atmosphere for everyone. The design includes a central courtyard and roof gardens that re-establish the tradition of the Stanford campus by integrating the landscape within the new building. A sloped courtyard with a prominent water feature organizes public circulation on the lower levels and brings natural light into the center of each floor. Accessible roof gardens surround a unique public floor that contains family and staff amenities.