In an effort to bring research to the forefront, Cincinnati Children's commissioned a design-build sculpture as the centerpiece of its new William Cooper Procter Research Pavilion. Located within the ground floor, the sculpture tells the story of how Cincinnati Children's is conducting research at all levels of the human system, from "molecule to mankind," in order to transform the treatment and delivery of patient care locally and throughout the world.

Designed to engage audiences of varying understanding to appreciate the beauty, drama, and wonder of biology, the sculpture comes alive through custom and pulsating LED lights that appear as if they are breathing and moving. Plasma screens convey the "molecule to mankind" progression through custom videography and animated medical rendering.

A two-year endeavor from concept to reality, this dynamic glass and metal organic lobby sculpture engages viewers from every approach and seeks to inspire and educate those working to improve the lives of children now and for generations to come.


Check out for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Architecture & Interior Design
GBBN Architects

Messer Construction

Brand Experience
Kolar Design

CD+M Lighting Design Group
Perspectives 360

Lightborne Communications
Travis Vermilye Medical & Biological Illustration

Cincinnati Children’s Clinical Sciences Pavilion by Ryan Newman


“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.

Check out for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Architecture & Interior Design
GBBN Architects

Architecture- Research Clinic & Dry Lab Planning
HDR Architects

Wet Lab Planning
Jacobs Consultancy

General Contractor
Messer Construction

Experience Consultant & Artwork Program
Kolar Design

Artwork Selection Committee
University of Cincinnati

Artwork Partner

Artwork Partner
Marta Hewett

Artwork Partner
Art Design Consultants

Art Partner
Mary Ran Gallery

Art Partner
Sollway Gallery

Art Partner
McElwain Fine Arts

Art Partner
Pace Prints

Art Partner
Blue Spiral

Art Partner
Malton Gallery

12 Local Grade and High Schools

81 International Artists



In 2013, the headlines were blasting how the Streetcar had no future in the city of Cincinnati—and at the helm was our newly elected, very outspoken mayor, John Cranley, who ran on the platform to shut down operations. As Cranley was fond of saying at the time, “It’s no secret that I want to stop the project.” And stopping it—regardless of the ramifications—seemed to be the name of the game. Soapbox media captured it best when they wrote in their December 17th issue—“Local Tea Party conservatives huddled in the wings, giddy with anticipation, and when the final votes were taken, it was as if a dark cloud had settled in over the city.” Their reference to the drama that loomed over the city as a great Greek tragedy will forever be remembered. Today, there is only sunshine and money falling from the skies, largely due to the brand that saved the streetcar and created the best return on investment ($3.4 million) with a transformation from negative perception, to now the tune of millions. The new Cincinnati Bell Connector naming rights heralded in a new opportunity for the streetcar to be the best brand turnaround story in the region. 


SORTA had a vital role in continuing to create the possibility of a downtown transit system and dutifully issued a public Request for Proposal (RFP) to more than 120 agencies nationwide to create a new brand for the incoming streetcar. 

The potential hopes for raising funds through advertising and naming rights had been awash since the public’s perception of the streetcar was down in the dumps, due largely to the hands of the Mayor and his so-called “Gang of 5”—Christopher Smitherman, Charlie Winburn, Amy Murray, David Mann and Kevin Flynn. 

We, as big supporters of the streetcar, boldly applied to be the agency of record and develop the new brand. We knew that the strategy for the new brand would represent a “future city,” a city connected and united.

Kolar was proud and excited to be selected out of 18 finalists as the agency to create a new brand identity for the city’s newest icon. The Cincinnati Streetcar is soon to be Cincinnati’s newest iconas - a new icon was joining the likes of Music Hall, Carew Tower, and the Tyler Davidson Fountain. But before the vehicles even arrived, the Cincinnati Streetcar needed its own icon to represent it. It was critical to establish a strong civic brand that captured the spirit of the new transit system while allowing it to become a part of Cincinnati’s downtown experience.

Kolar happily accepted the brand identity challenge to help position the streetcar as a new symbol of hope in the hearts and minds of the citizens. As a downtown firm just two blocks off of the route from the stop, we knew that seeing and riding the streetcar would become a part of our “NEW” downtown experience each day. We wanted to create a memorable brand experience reflective of our progressive city and the infrastructure investment for our very own business neighbors, residents, and visitors.

To begin, Kolar led collaborators from the City of Cincinnati and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA) through a designs thinking and discovery process to reveal what the Cincinnati Streetcar brand would embody in our community. GIVE THE # HERE: CONNECTIVITY, etc. We followed three strategic paths in story and visuals.

It couldn’t be denied that the Cincinnati Streetcar represents connectivity. Connectivity: It is the ultimate connector–connecting people, businesses, cultures and neighborhoods for a stronger community. Each concept we put on the table had to reflect this inside and out.

After 3 months of a close partnership with the city and SORTA, the design was launched to the public in December 2014. The brand reflects Cincinnati’s proud rail history and establishes a new brand for a city that’s moving into a new era. The brandmark is made up of two elements: The Cincinnati Streetcar icon and the Cincinnati Streetcar proprietary logotype. The icon is comprised of a “C,” representing Cincinnati’s identity, and a graphic interpretation of a moving streetcar vehicle. The graphic system depicts a system of connecting ‘rails,’ consistently reinforcing the brand’s strategic platform.

The design expression also includes vehicle graphics, streetcar platforms, and other marketing materials to build a comprehensive brand experience.

With the identity launch, Kolar designed a series of limited edition Founder’s Club passes available for pre-purchase that give riders unlimited rides for the first 15, 30 or 60 days of Cincinnati Streetcar service. The public’s response was immediate, and the $25 15-day pass sold out in just one week. It seemed everyone wanted a piece of the new Cincinnati Streetcar—the first tickets were sold, providing proof of the impactful success of the identity.

As the last rails were put in place and the stations were complete, the brand application made the Cincinnati Streetcar tangible—a beacon of positivity for the community behind which they could rally.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Cincinnati Bell bought the naming rights to the streetcar. It will now be known as the Cincinnati Bell Connector. With Cincinnati Bell’s tagline of “Connecting what Matters,” their sponsorship feels like a perfect delivery of the ‘connecting’ positioning Kolar established. While the colors and identity have changed, the connective spirit of the streetcar and the community will still ring.

Cincinnati Street Car Dedication Festivities PitchBox  |  In partnership with Eyman Creative

Kolar was thrilled to celebrate the opening of the Cincinnati Streetcar on September 9th. Kolar is just two blocks from the platform at 8th Street. COME ON BOARD, LET'S RIDE!