Case Study

Norton Women’s and Kosair Children’s Hospital A Healing Place for Tomorrow While Taking Care of Today

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

The Challenge

Building for today with a plan for tomorrow, this specialty hospital for women and children/pediatrics challenged designers to redesign and expand their space to create a setting for holistic services and compassionate care for vulnerable patients.

The Design Solution

Inspired by the wonder and discovery of nature, the curvilinear building features several key moments of escape. The design features multiple daylight-filled walkways leading to a rooftop garden, encouraging a connection to the outdoors and its healing properties. A multi-colored glass exterior creates serene indoor lighting that shifts with the changing daylight, while a labyrinth offers an opportunity for meditation and privacy.

Because of space limitations, the project has a vertical design with new floors built over the existing intensive care unit and emergency department. Additions include a 16-bed ICU, a 40-bed NICU, 33 medical and surgical beds, inpatient migraine treatment, the Norton Cancer Institute and a breast health center.

The Design Impact

Completed with associate architects, Laughlin Millea Hillman Architecture of Louisville, a phased construction process allowed for uninterrupted use of the facility during the renovation and construction. Many spaces, including the oncology department, workout rooms and NICU, feature flexible furniture and partitions that allow flexibility based on patient needs rather than fixed bed counts.

Project Features

  • 16-bed ICU
  • 40-bed NICU
  • 33 medical and surgical beds
  • Inpatient migraine treatment
  • Norton Cancer Institute
  • Breast health center
  • Workout area


  • 2016 Healthcare Design Showcase
  • 2016 Modern Healthcare
  • 2015 Louisville Business First, Commercial Real Estate Awards Medical Project Category