First look: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, inpatient behavioral health facility


The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is expanding paediatric and adolescent mental health services and is currently constructing a new five-story, 160,000-square-foot facility on the campus of the city’s College Hill community.

The design of this facility is an opportunity to rethink the collection of treatment settings called the environment. These are the spaces where patients will spend most of their time, participating in group therapy, guiding activities, freely choosing time, and other treatments. The design of the building is influenced by the diversity of the location and environment of the units and their role as shared resources and destinations. The design emphasizes a meaningful environment, imitating a day’s activities, such as changing classes at school. The space contains active distractions and allows different behaviors-such as pacing, swinging or self-expression; built-in benches and corners allow patients to comfortably occupy the edges of the room.

Private wards are distributed in the “sleeping wing” of each unit; when patients participate in group therapy, guided activities, free time and other treatments in the environmental space, the sleeping wings can be closed during the day.

Creating a more transparent environment is another project goal. The new building will incorporate more types of shared spaces outside the wards, providing families with more opportunities to support children during treatment. Families can also get support through family resource centers and cafes.

The dichroic glass in the façade and lobby adds a sense of transparency, inspires curiosity, creates interest, and has a new feeling every time you visit. A new reception area will improve the admission experience by providing patients with a central location to receive their initial medical evaluation and consultation before admission. It has a pedestrian entrance, an entrance dedicated to transferring patients, and a waiting space for family members.

The building will have a biophilic feel, incorporating materials that evoke natural aura, rounded edges, plenty of sunlight and landscape-all of which are designed to encourage visitors to linger and make it a paradise for patients and their families.

 

Project details:

Facility name: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, College Mountain New Behavioral Health Facility

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Estimated completion date: end of 2023

Owner: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Total floor area: 160,000 square feet

Total project cost: US$99 million

Cost/m²: undisclosed

Architect: GBBN

Interior design: GBBN

General Contractor: Messer Construction

Wayfinding, Art and Graphics: Kolar Design

Building Support: WA Architects

Builder: Messer Construction Company

Engineers: Schaefer & JCA (structure); CMTA (MEP); Bayer Baker (civilian)

Technology: Motz Engineering

Lighting: AEI & Pivotal

Landscape: Kleingers Group

Sustainability: Sol Design + Consulting

Medical equipment: Walsh Consulting Group

 



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