Case Study

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Treating the Entire Family, Not Just the Patient

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The Challenge

Recognizing that a child patient’s care team consists of not only health care professionals, but also the child’s family, Phoenix Children’s Hospital challenged the design team to improve the existing campus design and create a space that encourages and accommodates families, allowing them to take on more active roles.

The Design Solution

We responded to the challenge by creating a welcoming oasis that provides shade and healing while emulating the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains and desert. The visual impact on the community is striking, creating the desired “wow-factor” for the campus while providing stunning views of the entire valley, mountains and city skyline from private patient rooms. To support the hospital’s mission of treating the entire family and not just the patient, care was taken to improve the patient/family journey from the moment they step onto the campus and experience the whimsical and lush landscaping, accented by bold colors, playful sculpture and indigenous plant material. The dramatic three-story atrium welcomes visitors in a shaded glass sanctuary. The facility utilizes indigenous color, playful animal sculpture and desert flowers to organize each floor vertically. Strategic daylighting promotes calm within spaces that punctuate corridors, and create painted vistas within individual rooms. The team created thoughtful experiences and spaces around patient/family and caregiver functions, knitting them together to form a cohesive, integrated whole.

The Design Impact

Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s planned addition and renovations support the mission and vision to position the facility as one of the largest pediatric campuses in the country while offering an inspiring and comforting atmosphere. Winner of a Modern Healthcare built design award, this 770,000 square foot (71,535 sm) hospital is sensitive to its harsh environment. Designers adhered to the Green Guide for Health Care and made use of 3D simulations to develop a functional tower that maximizes daylight potential, creates shading opportunities for courtyards while minimizing heat gain. Local materials and playful biophilic environmental graphics abound in a colorful celebration of nature and local culture.

Project Features

  • 770,000 square feet (71,535 sm)
  • 11 stories
  • 334 beds
  • 48 PICU beds
  • 76 NICU beds


  • 2012 Arizona Commercial Real Estate RED Awards, Best Healthcare Project
  • 2012 Arizona Commercial Real Estate RED Awards, Most Sustainable Project Honorable Mention
  • 2012 Starnet Design Awards, Grand Prize – Flooring
  • 2011 IIDA Texas/Oklahoma Chapter Design Excellence Awards, Healthcare Honorable Mention
  • 2011 Modern Healthcare Design Awards, Citation Award