The Hospital for Special Surgery – Ezra Abraham Foundation Activity Room

SKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership completed the Ezra Abraham Foundation Activity Room at The Hospital for Special surgery in New York City, New York with an accessible and inviting environment in mind.

The new room provides a space to motivate patients to come out of their rooms, help reduce the negative impact of a hospital stay, encourage mobility for rehabilitation goals, and allow young patients of various abilities and a wide-range of ages to just be kids, alone, together, or with family members present. The room is completely barrier-free and patients can navigate it completely independently no matter their level of mobility. The layout of the space focuses on providing several activity zones for a range of activities that provide social support. One zone at the rear of the space is designed to allow for a small group to watch television or play video games. Another zone in the center provides a table and seats for games and other activities. The table, which is wheelchair-accessible, can be pushed aside to open up the space for larger gatherings such as birthday parties.

Several strategies for reducing stress were used in the development of the environmental graphic treatment of the space. The existing windows, which looked out onto an access roof, did allow for some natural light to enter the space. However, the decision to cover the windows with semi-translucent graphics still allowed for natural light to illuminate the space while removing the external distractions on the roof. A park scene was selected as the graphic subject to provide a connection to nature.

The renovation has greatly opened up the space, which now flows from the entry to the back seating area, affording both patients and hospital staff more room to move around freely. Since the room is very accessible, patients are now able and willing to stay in it longer and visit more often. Additionally, the room’s seamless design and organization makes it easier for staff to engage with the space as well, which helps them provide their services to the children.

ArchitectSKOLNICK Architecture + Design Partnership
PhotographyJon Wallen