The big-box store overlooking Harrisburg Pike in Lancaster, PA, previously brought joy to local children as a Toys “R” Us. With the vision of Penn State Health Children’s Hospital, the building was reimagined and now brings outpatient care into the area as Lancaster Pediatric Center. Conveniently located and easily visible to commuters, the facility serves a diverse population of families traveling to Lancaster for outpatient services. Working with users within their healthcare system, Penn State Health developed a program for the new Pediatric Center that condenses multiple modalities into one convenient location. The repurposed building accommodates departments such as Ophthalmology, Specialties, Primary Care, Behavioral Health, and on-site Imaging and Lab testing. IKM thoughtfully adapted the former Toys “R” Us to serve the new program and support a superior experience for the doctors, nurses, and patients that now occupy it.
The main corridor of the singular circulation spine links patient drop-off at the main entrance directly to the services beyond. With many departments lining the public area, the design team prioritized clear wayfinding throughout the facility. A multicolored tree graphic serves as a directory on the wall next to reception. Flowing beneath it are ribbons of color inlayed into the floor, guiding patients along the corridor. Every department is assigned a vibrant hue that corresponds to a ribbon in the flooring. The colors peel off one by one at each waiting room before culminating in a friendly paw print on the back wall. Known as “the River,” this unique solution offers a cheerful and effective way for children and their families to direct themselves down the long public corridor.
For families from Lancaster and beyond, this facility offers solace in both the care provided to children and the comforting environment. The visitor experience was a top concern for Penn State Health and the design team. Skylights added along the circulation spine bring natural light into the open public waiting areas. In order to prevent conversations happening inside an exam room from being heard by those outside, the design team extended walls of patient privacy areas to the deck, applied acoustical coatings on doorframes, and included drop sweeps on doors. This minimizes the amount of sound that can transmit from one room to another, and grants families the comfort of privacy in sensitive discussions.
Children that would have previously known this building as place of joy and fun can now come here to receive life-changing care. Transformed from a toy store, Lancaster Pediatric Center serves families across the region as a state-of-the-art outpatient facility.