“Care Close to Home” was the touchstone phrase for the development and execution of the Ambulatory Care Center for UPMC’s Children’s Hospital in South Fayette Township. This project brought transformative healthcare services to the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh by noted world-class physicians and was welcomed with open arms by families yearning for this convenience of care. This first fledgling of significant investment in geographically distributing services provided IKM the opportunity to provide striking and memorable imagery recalling elements of the renowned main tertiary care “mothership” hospital.
This branding was key to conveying the care, quality and trust built by the Hospital through decades of service. The unique site supported this facility, building upon that history and becoming a defined community landmark as well as a beacon highly visible.
Crafting a positive, non-threatening patient experience from the vehicular approach through to the interactions with the building was a key design consideration. The exterior design incorporates patterns that create a sense of animation and subtle movement.
The overall building massing is simple; waiting areas and public circulation are placed at the front of the building, taking advantage of north light. Upper floor public functions are contained in a metal panel-clad three-story tube element that rests on a diagnostic and treatment podium clad with large-format ceramic tile. The end of the tube becomes a glazed lantern visible from the highway. Flexible exam and practice spaces are contained in a large four-story volume with brick veneer behind the tube and podium.
The interiors promote a sophisticated yet playful experience that appeals to multiple age groups. Smaller windows, set low to the floor, provide niches for children to engage with the outdoors, and each floor employs a dominant color theme to aid in wayfinding. Varied styles of seating and furniture elements zone the waiting area and incorporate “discovery” pieces for children to play.