Seattle Children’s Hospital – Building Care: Diagnostic and Treatment Facility

  • area / size 485,000 sqft
  • Completed 2022
  • Type Hospital,
  • ZGF Architects designed the Building Care: Diagnostic and Treatment Facility at the Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.

    What does transformative care look and feel like? For children and families, it means starting and ending their hospital journey with ease so they can focus on the care, not the process. For physicians and staff, it means optimizing their work environment so they can focus on what’s important—patient care—while having dedicated amenities and respite spaces close by. As the new front door to Seattle Children’s, that’s exactly what Building Care is designed for.

    The project represents the dedication of hundreds of Seattle Children’s employees, families, project team partners, and community members, who came together over the course of 18 months and 55 immersive planning and design workshops to inform the design of a flexible, high performance, patient centered model of care. Broad user engagement helped ZGF understand what patients and families need before, during, and after their care. The design ensures they have the right information, resources, and amenities to support their journey at every step—from scheduling and appointment prep to their campus arrival, discharge, and return home. By designing the building to meet users most basic needs, they can spend less time figuring out where to go and focus more on healing.

    With eight floors above ground and three levels of underground parking, the project adds eight new operating suites, two catheterization labs, 20 flexible inpatient rooms, a new outpatient Cancer and Blood Disorders Clinic (CBDC), outpatient infusion center, retail pharmacy, inpatient pharmacy, laboratories, and sterile processing space. The building connects to phase one, an inpatient bed tower and emergency department also designed by ZGF. A future third phase will bookend the building with another bed tower.

    From a wayfinding perspective, the new “Discovery Trail” ties together all four zones within the hospital—Forest, River, Mountain, and Ocean—into one cohesive experience. Starting in the Forest zone, the project creates major horizontal connections, or trails, on Level 3 to the rest of lower campus and on Level 7 to the rest of upper campus. The name alludes to the Pacific Northwest trails that inspire and connect users to the natural habitats after which the zones are named. It also references the discoverable artwork and interactive design elements found along the trail. The Story Pole, created by artist Shaun Qwalsius Peterson, is not only a gathering point at the new front door but the beginning of this comprehensive wayfinding story. A large trail map in the lobby illustrates how the four zones connect and identifies the easiest path for families to take.

    To expand and streamline surgical care, universal operating suites allow any surgeon to operate, regardless of specialty or case type. New histology and pathology labs are located near the ORs to support the most complex cases. The design facilitates conversation between surgeons and pathologists in real time, allowing faster processing of specimens and reducing the time a patient is sedated. The ORs and catheterization labs also feature induction rooms, allowing family members to stay with their child as long as possible before surgery.

    Design: ZGF Architects
    Contractor: Sellen Construction
    Photography: Benjamin Benschneider, Lara Swimmer