Delivering Wellness And Group At St. Jude’s Household Commons

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats childhood most cancers, sickle cell illness, and different life-threatening issues. Sufferers and households receiving therapy usually reside in off-campus housing supplied by St. Jude throughout therapy—typically for weeks or months at a time.

Recognizing this case, St. Jude provides providers for household that transcend conventional healthcare wants, resembling a pharmacy or medical provide pick-up, to incorporate a publish workplace and financial institution in addition to respite and exercise areas on campus.

To consolidate these providers into one location to make them simpler for households to entry, the group turned a vacant inpatient ground on its campus right into a treatment- and clinical-staff-free zone.

Opened this previous February, the 45,000-square-foot Household Commons homes quite a lot of areas, together with pre-Ok to highschool school rooms with a science lab and library, studying alcoves and resting nooks, a music room with a recording studio, maker house, hair salon, indoor and out of doors play areas, café with espresso and snacks, and centralized affected person and housing providers.

Right here, David Taglione, design director at ICrave (New York), which delivered the inside design, expertise design, and lighting design on the challenge, talks about translating design targets into the bodily surroundings at Household Commons in addition to utilizing inclusive design methods to enchantment to a broad vary of sufferers and household. (For extra on the Household Commons challenge, click on right here.

Healthcare Design: If you first bought concerned with the Household Commons challenge, what design directive or targets did St. Jude provide you with?

David Taglione: Our ICrave staff labored intently with actress Marlo Thomas, who’s the daughter of Danny Thomas, the late St. Jude founder, in addition to St. Jude’s president, Dr. James Downing, to develop every of the design ideas and align on the route.

From the very starting, St. Jude was clear about wanting this house to be devoted totally to sufferers and their households—one thing distinctive throughout the present infrastructure on the St. Jude campus.

They needed to create an intimate group expertise, the place sufferers and caregivers can share experiences and construct connections to others going by means of related struggles and discover moments of normalcy and pleasure.

We sought out to reimagine what sufferers, households, and caregivers may expertise and achieve throughout the new facility, posing questions resembling “How can we create an area that invitations households to really feel proper at dwelling?” and “How can we design significant touchpoints that invite discovery and create a layered expertise that evolves?”

How did you translate that design intent into the bodily surroundings?

The design of Household Commons is supposed to replicate moments and actions which might be a part of life outdoors of therapy. This consists of actions like making music and artwork, doing a enjoyable science experiment, or getting your nails and hair carried out stylishly on the salon.

This place is supposed to carry again the little issues in life that fall to the wayside once you’re sick, making misplaced experiences accessible and inspiring sufferers and households to bask in them.

Vibrant colours and uplifting tones are discovered all through, and plenty of areas have been reworked into acquainted objects present in nature. Examples embrace giant tree trunk nooks the place youngsters can disguise or have quiet time, and ceiling lighting fixtures within the form of clouds.

Particular consideration was paid to areas just like the salon, infusing the world with brilliant colours and heat woods, creating an surroundings that gives a playful escape for sufferers who could also be going by means of the difficult expertise of hair loss.

How is Household Commons designed to be interactive?

There are various digital, participating components. For instance, within the Music Room, we included the most recent LED know-how to design a perforated wall system with modern, sound-activated coloured backlighting. The wall follows the musical notes enjoying within the room and creates a playful expertise by activating a light-weight present that runs by means of a {custom} perforation design.

The ability has a faculty with school rooms catering to a number of grade ranges, from Pre-Ok and kindergarten to highschool, fostering numerous studying experiences and selling interplay, group, and collaboration. The design consists of layouts that encourage group studying and quieter areas for one-on-one or solo time.

Our design staff thoughtfully blended bodily play with discoverable components, too. Sufferers can have enjoyable counting clouds or discovering hidden surprises, making the house participating and inspiring them to discover.

How did you make the most of inclusive design to enchantment to sufferers of all ages?

The challenge’s scalability is noteworthy, because it caters to completely different heights and talents. Layered graphic murals supply stunning visuals as an inclusive expertise.

Within the artwork room, you will see a custom-designed balloon ceiling, a novel idea including a contact of magic to the house. Drawing inspiration from the straightforward but beloved “stick drawing” home form, the challenge brings these illustrations to life in a three-dimensional and interactive method. This artistic twist on a well-known kind appeals to youngsters’s creativeness and luxury.

Inclusive design is clear within the considerate collection of furnishings of various scales and sizes, too, guaranteeing consolation for people of all ages and talents. Versatile seating preparations accommodate completely different group sizes, enabling intimate conversations and bigger gatherings.

Security was additionally an important consideration within the design of the play areas. Recognizing that falls may be notably harmful for sure sufferers, we included applicable heights and security measures whereas nonetheless creating thrilling and gratifying areas, enabling youngsters to discover and interact in play with out compromising their well-being.

What was the largest problem in renovating a former inpatient ground into the Household Commons?

On this occasion, the challenge website was absolutely cleared of its former inpatient use, so we had the chance to work from a clean slate. The problem was really about altering our methods of enthusiastic about non-clinical areas, which opened our minds to new design alternatives.

St. Jude’s dedication to dedicating a lot house to affected person wellness was inspiring and an unbelievable design thesis for our staff to discover.

By shifting focus away from strictly practical environments in conventional healthcare settings, we had been in a position to discover a number of approaches to reinforce the affected person expertise. So the constructing offers each reduction for stress and nervousness whereas providing the prospect for discovery and delight.

How did you select supplies and building strategies for Household Commons?

Precedence was given to an infection management, guaranteeing a protected and safe surroundings. Smooth materials and different typical cozy components weren’t doable with this in thoughts. Our staff needed to be artistic with whimsical colour palettes and delicate edges to create heat and welcoming areas.

Working intently with St. Jude, our staff of designers tapped into the facility of aesthetics, incorporating pure mild, versatile areas, and playful furnishings, thereby reworking a healthcare facility into an surroundings that promotes therapeutic, discovery, and rejuvenation.

(For extra on St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital, go right here.)


Anne DiNardo is government editor of Healthcare Design journal. She may be reached at [email protected].