Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware – Child Life Clubhouse

  • area / size 8,600 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Type Hospital,
  • EwingCole designed the thoughtful space at the Child Life Clubhouse for the Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware.

    The Department of Child Life, Creative Arts Therapy and School Programs had a vision to enhance the suite of resources and play spaces that formed the clubhouse environment. The Child Life staff serves the health system by providing emotional support, developmentally appropriate activities, education and preparation for medical procedures, academic instruction, and holistic interventions to promote healing. The objectives of the clubhouse renovation looked to increase acoustic privacy between the various activities and events, maintain staff visibility and accessibility to families to provide support, normalize the hospital environment, and offer unique treatment spaces for Art and Music Therapy, multimedia interventions, bereavement and legacy work and sensory interventions.

    The planning team utilized an Integrated Facility Design approach that brought all stakeholders together to conceptualize the vision through a partnership between staff, parents and patients. Multiple work sessions from visioning through detailed design utilized graphic tools in two and three dimensions to explore clubhouse relationships of space, separate noisy and quiet activities, allow for visibility with acoustic control using glass and various other materials, and allow for the excitement of discovery and wonder.

    The design team gathered further input by observing the existing Child Life areas in operation and conducting interviews with multiple parties associated with the treatments, educational resources, and events.

    A selected plan was agreed upon with a mix of open and enclosed space and was further developed through detailed design activities to achieve the completed project.

    Key elements of the design included a welcoming entrance open 24 hours a day with aesthetics to transport children and families out of the hospital setting, a closed-circuit TV Studio to build community, partnership and allow for visits from sports figures, musicians and other celebrities, a kitchen area for families to cook with their children as they would at home and have celebrations, space for arts and crafts and messy play for all ages, dramatic play area for performances and events with a mural to provide a stage setting, dedicated space for reading and safe space for young children, teen gaming activities, sensory play room, and art and music therapy studios.

    The completed clubhouse holds an exclusive distinction of creating a destination for patients of all ages and families in the hospital.

    Design: EwingCole
    Photography: Halkin Mason Photography