Suite 8C Renovation - CHKD
Lions and tigers and bears—correction—it’s zebras and elephants and giraffes for this dynamically-designed monitored bed unit! Suite 8C encompasses approximately 12,000 SF on the 8th floor of Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, the premier hospital for pediatric care in the Hampton Roads area. With its newly renovated space, the hospital can now comfortably provide 24/7 intensive monitored care for up to 20 children in both private and semi-private rooms.
The focus was to create a vivid safari experience to distract children from the monotony of a typical hospital stay. The concept drove many design decisions, such as the placement of the nurses’ stations and patient pods. The tree-like central nurses’ station serves as the “root” of the space, with its canopy-like soffit stretching over the animals and uniting the three animal pods. Its casework cleverly uses decorative lighting that serves as a nightlight during quiet hours, reassuring children that animals have “quiet time” too!
The concept was further carried into the floor pattern. The patterned floor first organizes the patient rooms into three pods for staff purposes. Second, it provides effortless and easily distinguishable terms of wayfinding for parents and children. Lastly, the spots on the leopard and the giraffe encourage creative play. The staff was excited to share how frequently they find children trying a little hopscotch on the giraffe’s long neck or playing hot lava on the leopard’s spots! Even within the rooms, the experience continues as a fun safari Jeep footprint lets patients “be the driver” while also establishing a docking area for the bed.
Artwork was also a focus of the redesign, as the previous space included almost none. The designers worked side-by-side with graphic designers and image suppliers to curate a collection of artwork to fit the theme. Cognizant of how frightening large jungle animals can seem to small children, the designers carefully chose images such as a lioness with her baby cubs and monkeys seemingly helping each other climb up a rock. Themes of family, playfulness, and trust were effectively conveyed through the artwork.
The space, while whimsical, was also designed to improve workflow without adding footprint. An interior corridor was removed with circulation at the outside for greater visibility and better patient access to staff. The central nurse station wraps on each end, giving nurses visual access of the visitor hallway entrance and to each of the smaller stations at the pods. Together, the redesigned central staff core and nurse work areas work comprehensively to provide a highly functional environment for staff.
Overall, the redesign provides a better experience for everyone. Patients are engaged in the safari experience and can now have something positive to remember from their stay. Parents can better access and communicate with the staff to help improve parent satisfaction. Furthermore, the staff now has a more efficient workspace so that they can continue to provide the best care for patients at the most reputable hospital in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area.