The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care Promises New Patient Experience with Innovative Design
The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is almost complete and set to change pediatric healthcare. CHOP, FKP Architects and Pelli Clarke Pelli worked under lofty guiding principles to conceive a building like no other children's hospital in existence today. The new 12-story, 706,000-square-foot, $425 million center is designed to reduce the length of patient visits, ease stress on patient families, and increase CHOP's ability to meet complex pediatric health needs from around the world. The new hospital is preparing for over 200,000 patient visits a year. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., of Baltimore, Maryland, serves as the construction manager for the project.
FKP Architects, based in Houston, Texas, has years of experience in healthcare, research and education market sectors. Recent projects include Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands Campus in The Woodlands, Texas; JPS Health Network Medical Home in Arlington, Texas; and The University of Texas Medical Branch Education Center Programming, Galveston, Texas.
Pelli Clarke Pelli, of New Haven, Connecticut, has designed many recognizable projects all over the world. Their portfolio includes retail and mixed-"‹use projects, academic buildings, libraries, museums, research centers, residences and master plans. They have served private clients, businesses, institutions and government agencies. Their work has received critical acclaim and numerous design awards, including the American Institute of Architects' Firm Award, the highest honor for an architectural practice.
The undulating glass faÃ§ade of the building is lined with primary colors. It represents the movement and exuberance of children, a theme of "Children in Motion" the project team also carried throughout the interiors. The main lobby has a walking ramp with interactive displays that can double as a venue for physical therapy. Likewise, a rock-climbing wall rises on the fourth floor. Even the spacious, light-filled waiting areas, dubbed "Wait. Play. Learn.", encourage exploratory and educational play.
Designing Off of Group Feedback
During the center's early design stages, the team gathered input from focus groups that included hundreds of families and medical professionals to help identify the important features of the building. The result is the Guiding Principles of the Buerger Center:
· Create the ideal patient experience
· Deliver family-centered care
· Improve outpatient care operational efficiency
· Become the pediatric healthcare destination of choice
One major design outcome is the layout of service areas. Complementary care providers are clustered into "neighborhoods of care" to facilitate clinician and staff collaboration, and to simplify visits for patients and their families. A child with a skeletal injury can see an orthopedic surgeon, have X-rays, get casting and visit the rehab center all on the same floor.
The CHOP Research Institute is one of the largest in the nation, with 1,400 employees and 1 million square feet of research space. CHOP places an emphasis on translational research - the type of clinical studies that move new ideas as quickly as possible from the lab into the treatment room. The Buerger Center is designed to take this relationship between patient and researcher to the next level, bringing researchers and children closer together.
Adjacent to the Ruth and Tristram Colket Jr. Translational Research Building, the Buerger Center will speed the pace of research. The building is designed to support clinical trials digitally, with fully electronic medical records that speed the flow of data, and physically, with a walkway connecting the labs at Colket to the exam rooms at the Buerger Center.
Building state-of-the-art facilities at CHOP also helps to attract and retain the world's best doctors and scientists. Our patients benefit from their care and investigations to unlock the mysteries of childhood disease. This new environment in the Buerger Center will support a truly translational medical platform where the world's best clinicians and researchers can work together.
Therapy Through Nature
The jewel of the new center is a 14,000-square-foot roof garden on the sixth floor, the first and largest of its kind at a pediatric outpatient facility. The garden will provide horticultural therapy, a relatively new kind of care that engages patients in plant-based activities, guided by a trained therapist. The garden has different walking surfaces that aid in physical therapy, from concrete steps to those that mimic a city curb, and a running path that cuts through the middle of the garden. An integrated water feature is shaped like the nearby Schuylkill River.
Over 4,200 donors - more than 1,300 of them CHOP employees - helped raise over $96 million towards design and construction of the Buerger Center. A landmark $50 million gift by the Buerger family, as well as a $200 million bond issue, hospital reserves and other gifts also helped to fund the project. Phase I includes the first floor, clinical levels 2 through 5 and a 1,500 vehicle parking garage. Phase II, scheduled to open in 2017, will include clinical levels 6 and 7. The whole facility is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification. The Buerger Center sits on Civic Center Boulevard, across the street and just south of the main hospital.
"A visit to the hospital can be a long and emotional process, for patients and their families," said Diane Osan, Chairman and Chief Visionary Officer of FKP Architects in Houston. "The Buerger Center is a response to the question of "˜how can we make this easier and less stressful for all those involved in the care journey?' Indoor areas are meant for play for patients of all abilities. The garden can offer relief from physical and cognitive impairments, reduce stress and inspire hope. A building can't take away patient ills, but it can make the treatment and recovery process easier."