The Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena, CA, combines a three-story building for surgery, clinical services, rehabilitation, and healing landscapes. As part of a campaign to replace and renovate its aging facilities, Shriners’ new 74,800-square-foot center focuses on outpatient services to better meet its mission of providing care to young patients. The design leverages evidence-based design strategies, redevelops a suburban site, and features an outward-facing building design that provides a positive emotional journey for patients and families.
The two-acre site is divided into the medical building on the northern half of the property and therapeutic gardens and outdoor gathering areas on the south side. The contemporary architecture of sweeping horizontal planes, cantilevers, and setbacks, along with a region-sensitive landscape, is consistent with the modernist legacy of Pasadena. The medical center’s glass-lined walls present an open and inviting character and reveal the activity within the building. A generous garden forecourt and upper-story terraces draw people outside to connect with nature and their surroundings.
CO Architects and SRG Partnership created the interiors with a focus on color and shape, while steering clear of childish clichés. Custom-designed murals depicting flora and fauna in colorful silhouettes run along the corridors, inviting discovery on the way to waiting areas and treatment rooms, while acting as positive distractions for children under stress. The main lobby displays a colorful forest theme and sports swirls of colored terrazzo flooring. An interactive feature wall changes images with kinetic motion ignited by touch. The colorful furnishings are set in a variety of seating arrangements to accommodate families.
Pre-operative and post-anesthesia care units (PACU) are private, both visually and acoustically, to preserve patient dignity. Daylight is an integral part of the healing and well-being factor. Pre-op and PACU rooms are located on the north side of the second floor with windows for direct access to daylight, while indirect daylight is provided to operating rooms, boosting surgeon and staff awareness and energy. An interior courtyard is located adjacent to the surgery waiting room to provide families with outdoor access. The rehabilitation department includes a physical therapy gym and outdoor terrace for exercise. Rehab treatment rooms are positioned on the east side of the building to capture diffused light and clear vistas of the San Gabriel foothills.
Rios Clementi Hale Studios designed the multi-level landscape for healing, reflecting, and gathering. The three outdoor areas, located on the ground, second, and third levels, are inspired by different ecological and cultural aspects of the Pasadena region, including the grasslands of the San Gabriel foothills, farmland of the region, and annual Rose Parade. Outdoor spaces allow individuals to relax in solitude, exercise in nature, or stroll along the planted gardens.