Christiana Care Center for Women’s and Children’s Health

  • area / size 396,000 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • HKS and DCC Design Group with Madison Art Consulting together designed the Christiana Care Center for Women’s and Children’s Health located in Newark, Delaware.

    The Women’s and Infants’ Services Addition project is a seven-story addition located to the North of the existing Women’s Building on the Newark, Delaware campus of Christiana Hospital. A destination for women’s and infants’ services, the scope includes a new entrance, outpatient, and administrative services on level 1, space for expansion of the Antepartum and LDRs on level 2, 80 private NICU rooms on levels 2 and 4, a shell floor at level 5 for either future growth of NICU or Postpartum, and 72 private postpartum rooms at levels 6 and 7. On the garden level, a service tunnel will extend from the existing basement into the service corridor of the new tower. Utilities will also occupy the tunnel and connect directly from the Central Energy Plant to the South.

    The new Women’s and Infants’ Services building will visually relate to the existing Christiana Hospital campus while establishing its own identity as a destination of women and infant care. Design inspiration is from the Delaware Estuary. Both the exterior and interior design are influenced by the natural environment. Natural light will permeate the interior through the glass wall structure as the exterior materials and views flow into public spaces along the lobby concourse connecting the new entry to the existing hospital.

    The Madison Art team focuses on our projects being personal and connecting with our viewers and users of the spaces. Given the events of 2020, our working philosophies have never been more relevant. Rather than unilaterally making artistic decisions for the spaces, we invited hospital community members to participate in educational and artful engagements where we gathered feedback. We incorporated that input along with the thematic concept from the board of directors in the development of the art program for the entire space. The result of our efforts ensured this space will be welcoming, soothing, comfortable, holistic, and diverse.

    An exciting and expansive stretch of graphics in a watercolor palette swoop across the reception desk and columns as your first impression when entering the building. As users move toward the waiting area, they are greeted with large, whimsical paper flowers that add a softness to the glass and brick walled space. Our goal in the public reflection hall was to make visitors feel as though they are looking through windows to natural settings. We accomplished this by positioning three differently shaped original art backdrops into seating niches and create moments of unique and transformative experiences.

    On the patient floors, we wanted to maintain a sense of privacy while still offering that connectivity. The custom solution that we created is a novel, healthcare-specific product that marries our creative goals with the facility’s standards of cleanliness. The product meets hospital standards and we see it as one that can be applied to many future hospital projects. The nurse team stations are outfitted with custom imagery film on expansive glass windows that create moments of beauty and help patients orient themselves on the floor. These stations create privacy for staff while still allowing them to see through the glass and look out onto the patient floor.

    In addition to the nurse station graphics, each patient floor has a coordinating collection of imagery lining the walls. Thematic and tonal connection between the pieces helps to further assist patients and visitors in orienting themselves in hallways and create positive distraction during time spent in the hospital.

    The goal of the staff administrative floor was to establish a work zone where the installations energize and inspire productivity. This was accomplished through a specialized art program which included custom wall coverings, artwork, sculptures and creative installations that work together to create interest and movement throughout the space.

    This program will allow the engagement with the spaces for years to come. The center’s design and installations put both patients and employees at ease and provide a safe and tranquil respite during their visit to the facility. The artwork and creative design elements have already proven to be a conversation starter, even with limited occupancy and distance between individual visitors.

    Design: HKS and DCC Design Group with Madison Art Consulting
    Photography: Judy Davis, Emily Duncan