Health and Wellness

Liberty Expansion by Ryan Newman

Cincinnati Children's - Liberty Expansion

Aimed to inspire discovery and learning, the theme for this 4th-floor inpatient expansion is the “universe”. The theme was selected for its appeal to pediatric patients, as well as its ability to provide tangible positive motivation for patients to get well and then apply learnings/seek new discoveries in the outside world once discharged.

Great Bear, Ursa Major, Pisces and other animal constellations cheerfully inhabit the corridors while star-shaped iridescent materials, flooring and twinkling light ceiling elements provide a sense of wonder and delight. Within the space, digital media provides patients with an opportunity to learn about the universe, the constellations and gain inspiration from notable space explorers.

Within the lobby, an interactive hands-free gaming system is staged within a space shuttle-like console that peers out onto planets and roaming space vehicles.

Each nurse station, color coded to compliment the wayfinding system, includes a breathtaking mural with star filled sky. In front of each mural, hanging translucent glass orbs create an illusion of planets.

Within the patient rooms, sky-like graphic ceiling tiles contain hidden objects providing a 'seek-n-find' game-like distraction for patients. Professional artwork throughout the unit also integrates in theme and color to support the overall concept of the space.

Check out for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Brand Experience
Kolar Design

Architecture/Interior Design
HKS Architects
GBBN Architects

Art Design Consultants
ArtWorks and Artists

Messer Construction

PEDCO Engineers

RCF Group

JH Photo

Mercy Health Network by Ryan Newman


Mercy Health-West Hospital is a 250-bed, 645,000-square-foot facility. The West Hospital takes a new approach to healthcare architecture, balancing beauty, brand, and function to set a new standard for hospital design. The facility’s amenities include private patient rooms with unobstructed views to the outdoors, family-centered care rooms, an environmentally friendly design, community center, education center, and a green space with a walking trail. The objective was to create an environment that fosters healing.

Transparency between interior and exterior provides continuity to support the patient and family healing experience. Ease of wayfinding leads patients and families from the front door to reception and waiting areas, and along to public amenity spaces. Clear wayfinding reduces stress and creates a calming, welcoming experience. The presence of natural light and an inviting landscape also reinforce the healing process.

Check out for more recently updated Healthcare Case Studies.


Brand Experience
Kolar Design

Architecture/Interior Design
AECOM with Mic Johnson, FAIA, lead designer AECOM
Champlin Architecture

Lerch Bates
Mortland Planning and Design, Inc. Turner Construction Company

Dynamix Engineers
Heapy Engineering
Thomas Graham Associates THP LTD

Landscape Architecture
Close Landscape Architecture Meisner + Associates/Land Vision

Hedrich Blessing Dave Burk
JH Photo
Pease Photography

Cincinnati Children's Proton Therapy Center by Ryan Newman

Providing the most progressive treatments for children and young adults with cancers and leukemias, Cincinnati Children’s Proton Therapy Center is one of only two pediatric proton facilities in the country, and the only one with a research program. Treatment visits are scheduled daily for multiple weeks at a time, resulting in unique bonding between and support needs for families. 

“As we take care of the toughest cases, we employ all the latest technologies from proton therapy to immune therapy to genomic-guided precision medicine. Likewise, we expect our facility to offer an excellent experience for patients and families”.
John Perentesis, MD
Co-Executive Director of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s

Within the facility, a series of “gardens” were created to support these needs and to transform this medical facility into a warm, welcoming environment.

At the exterior, a colorful outdoor garden with sweeping paths, seating areas, engaging artwork, water feature and child-friendly games provide outdoor respite and connection spaces for families.

At the building entrance, the waiting area greets and welcomes with garden-like glass mounted grasses and animals, playful fish within a digital pond and a color changing hanging sculpture.

As the families leave the treatment area, a grove of trees along a winding river path adorns the route. Each tree cradles a set of chimes that are rung to commemorate a milestone in the patient’s treatment.

Throughout the space, inspirational graphics and artwork co-created by patients and professional artists continue to reinforce the garden theme while conveying messages of hope and support.

Completed | August 2016
Client | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Project Team | Mary Dietrich, Allison Smith, John Kennedy, Blake Kishler
Partners | Tsoi/Kobus & Associates, Inc. + The Kleingers Group + Messer Construction
Photographer | JH Photo

"A piece of cancer-fighting equipment that weighs as much as 18 elephants. Enough concrete to pave a sidewalk from Cincinnati to Louisville, Kentucky. The most sophisticated technology available offering new hope for those battling the most challenging cancers.

This is big medicine intended to make a big difference.

Our new Proton Therapy Center is one of the most advanced cancer research and treatment centers in the country. The $120 million investment will provide more effective, targeted proton treatments to cancer patients of all ages."

HEALTHCARE + by Ryan Newman

Dear clients, partners and friends:

The + is the simplest of all mathematical equations, but, to us, the most meaningful, because it represents the essence of our firm:

More than a value. More than the expected result.

What is that extra something that adds so much value to each and every one of our projects? One word: Brand.

We don’t just understand them, we don’t just communicate them – we build them so they can be experienced, physically and digitally adding meaning and value to people’s lives – and our clients’ healing environments.

ralok is focusing on healthcare for the remainder of 2016 to share how we create transformative healthcare environments and experiences at the intersection of people + place. 

We believe that branded experiences make a difference in the healing environments and give patients a meaningful, memorable and measurable outcome. It’s a unique practice, but over 20 years, we have perfected our process with a specialized team of inter+disciplinary people from across the globe. There are many parts to our incredible organization, and each of those parts is special. But it’s the sum of the parts that makes the whole, and the whole is the value that Kolar brings to each and every project.

We build brand understanding through our “customer insight + metrics” work to support patients and their families throughout their journey. We give patients and staff a more meaningful and enriching experience throughout the facilities as we celebrate pride of place, and build a strong narrative around the mission, vision and values of the organization.   

We are excited to share some of our behind-the-scenes work with our key partners, clients and stakeholders on the intricate practice of creating healing environments.