- Environmental Graphic Design
- Facilities for Children
- Interior Design
- Master Plannning
Nemours Children’s Hospital
Location: Orlando, Florida
Size: 630,000 SF
Completion: 2009 Master Plan Completion;
2012 Phase I Implementation
Photographed by Jonathan Hillyer
The name “Nemours” has its origins in the Celtic word “nemora,” a sanctuary of trees inhabited by the god of healing springs. In an architectural language as powerful and timeless as its name suggests, the Nemours Children’s Hospital transforms the physical landscape of central Florida and creates spaces capable of transforming the inner landscape of a child as they experience the potentially difficult and frightening journey to recovery and beyond.
Most notable about this project is the alignment of outpatient and inpatient care in a single building, whereas these functions are typically housed separately. Here, outpatient clinics and inpatient rooms devoted to a particular medical specialty are located in adjacent wings of the same floor, with shared waiting spaces. This enables a consistent care team who become familiar to children during both clinic visits and inpatient stays.
The project’s architectural solutions arose from consultation with the hospital’s full range of stakeholders, including practitioners, administrators, and a family advisory committee of parents and children. The hospital’s 24-hour visiting policy, meant to welcome and invite family involvement, led to strategies such as patient rooms with overnight accommodations for two parents, laundry facilities, and a concierge desk in the elevator lobby of each patient floor. Ample lounges and playrooms overlook and give access to extensive outdoor spaces designed for respite and recreation. These include landscaped rooftop terraces, interactive water features, a one-acre “discovery garden” and an outdoor community stage for live performances.
The 60-acre greenfield site had very little vegetation. And as is typical in this humid subtropical region, it has a high water table. In response, a curving ramp subtly raises the entry drive one level, allowing the daylight basement that accommodates the delivery and service functions. This curving gesture continues through and out the back of the building where, planted with gardens, it slowly returns to grade at the back of the site. Rainwater drains naturally from rooftops and site into created bioswales and retention ponds.
In this environment, intense sun is a major concern. Extensive solar studies not only allowed the landscape architecture to maximize agreeably shaded outdoor spaces, but also helped determine the design and placement of exterior shading devices that block direct sunlight while admitting abundant natural light to the building interior.