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.
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
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