CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S CLINICAL SCIENCES PAVILION CASE STUDY
“An exceptional brand experience is brought to life throughout this magnificent new building and embodies our organization’s aspirations. It represents hope, the promise of discovery, and the potential to improve child health.”
-Michael Fisher, Cincinnati Children's President & CEO
When Cincinnati Children’s opened their new Clinical Sciences Pavilion it made a 14-story, 445,000 square-foot commitment to research, innovation, and collaboration. The Clinical Sciences Pavilion is located between the hospital’s main clinical care center and its companion research tower, the William Cooper Procter Pavilion. The positioning of this new facility is symbolic of its purpose which is to connect researchers and clinicians. It allows them to easily collaborate and translate innovations faster from the lab to the patient’s bedside.
Cincinnati Children’s invited Kolar, as a key partner of the multi-disciplinary design team, to envision a branded experience within the physical environment. The vision was to develop a space that inspires collaboration to drive innovation, build a sense of pride in the accomplishments of the organization, and create convenient, delightful spaces that encourage research trials participation.
Kolar began by seeking what makes Children’s research function unique. What we learned is nuances matter:
- Participants in research trials are not motivated to participate in research the same way patients are motivated to seek care.
- Pride is individualistic. To build pride, addressing the diverse value sets of the audience was imperative.
- Providing opportunities to be heard, to give back, and to ask to participate can be very powerful tools in building awareness and brand loyalty.
- Utilization of space is influenced both by the design and by an organization’s culture.
Equipped with these insights the team was able to define storytelling, brand building, wayfinding, donor recognition, positive distractions, and a comprehensive artwork program to meet the needs of the researchers, administrators, clinicians, patients, families, donors and visitors who utilize the space.
Within the research clinic, the registration and waiting space was designed to provide a functional and delightful experience for families. The spacious, open waiting area overlooks a sculpture garden within a serene outdoor setting. The focal sculpture symbolizes the transformation of ideas into reality that occur daily within this space. Child-friendly activities such as hidden “seek-n-find” animals, interactive games, and play zones provide a variety of choices for children, while plentiful charging stations near tables and banquets provide homework or work spaces for older children and adults during their visit.
The design of the staff spaces was carefully orchestrated by the architectural team to foster a culture of communication and information-sharing. In support of this, Kolar developed storytelling graphics that celebrate the history and accomplishments of the organization. Aimed to foster knowledge of the organization’s history as well as stimulate new conversations, these storytelling graphics engage staff and visitors throughout the building in static and digital approaches.
Throughout the building, Kolar curated a collection of over 600 works of art to inspire and lift those who utilize its spaces. A portion of the collection was created by engaging more than 350 students from local schools and approximately 144 patients, families, and staff. These participants were provided an opportunity to engage with professional artists/art educators in the co-creation of artwork displayed within the building. Through this approach, staff had an opportunity to have a hand in the creation of the new space; patients had an opportunity to give to others, and children within the community had an opportunity to learn about science and research.
In order for the full vision of the space to be realized, Kolar assisted Cincinnati Children’s in the development of a “welcome kit” to celebrate the opening of the new space and acclimate the occupants to the building’s unique amenities and desired culture.
Anyone who walks into the Clinical Sciences Pavilion can feel the spirit of innovation alive and thriving. When 400 researchers were asked if the new space conveys an image on par with the quality of care and research, a post-occupancy survey saw a 30% increase in the old space and the new one. As one staff member said, “I feel inspired when I walk in here every day, and I attribute this feeling of inspiration to my increased productivity and creativity in the past year.”
Within this new building, groundbreaking discoveries will be made that will change the outcome for children around the world. For the Kolar team, it will be immensely rewarding to see how the space enables the next generation of researchers to develop life-saving advancements in pediatric disease.
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Architecture & Interior Design
Architecture- Research Clinic & Dry Lab Planning
Wet Lab Planning
Experience Consultant & Artwork Program
Artwork Selection Committee
University of Cincinnati
Art Design Consultants
Mary Ran Gallery
McElwain Fine Arts
12 Local Grade and High Schools
81 International Artists