/ SELECTED WORK
BRR + Nationwide Children's
Experience-based design is redefining hospitals' future states.
Innovating the pediatric health care experience
Whether a child is being treated for a broken bone or a life-threatening disease, a hospital visit can become a frightening experience for any little one: and a stressful experience for an anxious caregiver or parent.
So when Nationwide Children’s Hospital decided to tackle the largest pediatric expansion to date, it partnered with Big Red Rooster and several design and architecture partners to reinvent its facilities and innovate the visitor experience.
Creating an immersive, uplifting experience
Nationwide Children’s worked with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, a museum planning and design firm, to craft the overall creative vision. Big Red Rooster interpreted the design intent through interior spaces, exterior elements and graphic treatments. We carefully chose each graphic treatment and implemented design elements with the visitor experience in mind, building an environment that reduced stress and promoted wellness.
We understand that a hospital’s brand lives beyond its logo. Our team applied global retailing concepts, which focus on developing and interpreting brands in multiple mediums, to lead Nationwide Children’s experience-based expansions and renovations.
Once visitors enter the hospital, they encounter an uplifting, immersive atmosphere that radiates hope. The nature theme carries throughout the hospital via wood textures and animal, bird and butterfly imagery. Designers chose animals and insects that represent “notions of flight” to calm stressed patients, families and staff.
Designing in multiple dimensions
Pediatric hospitals add a new level of design complexity because multiple constituencies’ needs – from newborn patients to seasoned staff – demand attention.
Our team aimed to create a space that caught young patients’ eyes without making older patients, such as teenagers or young adults, feel uncomfortable. The space puts family members at ease while relating to hospital staff.
Designers paid particular attention to lines of sight. We considered that children often look down while walking and look up when staff members are wheeling them throughout the hospital. Eye-catching floor decals and awe-inspiring graphic ceiling treatments provide positive distractions for young patients.
Tackling architectural implications
Building a new tower from the ground up presented architects and interior designers with an opportunity to execute the new construction design to exacting standards; however, transforming the existing hospital to align with Nationwide Children’s creative vision proved challenging. The existing facility was a multi-unit space comprised of three buildings connected over time, leading to several architectural limitations.
Pulling an experience through existing cultures served as a macro challenge. In order to translate design intent in the existing hospital space, we sought creative ways to bring the new tower’s light, voluminous, breathtaking design into the existing facility’s narrow corridors. In many instances, designers had to work with old exterior walls that became interior walls as the hospital expanded.
Developing intuitive wayfinding
“The Path” allows Nationwide Children’s families, patients and staff to navigate through the existing facility and new tower with ease. The wayfinding system’s clearly defined path promotes wellness and eases stress, working as an extension of the hospital’s health and healing advocacy.
The hospital’s wayfinding system resembles a river flowing through a forest. Color-coded paths break the language barrier, helping non-English speaking families feel more comfortable as soon as they enter the building.
Each pathway is denoted by color and accompanied by nature graphics, and colored leaves serve as connection points. Destination-oriented foliage graphics let families know they’ve arrived at the right location. The efficient, effortless system helps the healing begin.
Translating design intent in offsite facilities
Not every child who is treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital walks through the hospital doors. Our team wanted to ensure the brand’s elasticity and scalability translated into offsite locations. We interpreted the experience positioning and designed scalable solutions around it.
The hospital wanted to ensure that any parent, guardian or child who entered a Nationwide Children’s facility received an identical experience. We carried the nature theme throughout each offsite location, creating immersive experiences that transcended beyond the new tower’s walls.
When a visitor enters an offsite facility, he or she is immediately welcomed by the same nature design and simplicity found in the main campus’ new tower.