When The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) opens its doors at the new Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care on Monday, July 27, it will herald a new era in how pediatric medical facilities care for patients and their families. Located on Civic Center Boulevard, just across from the Main Hospital, the Buerger Center is a major part of the newly named Raymond G. Perelman Campus, and an enduring symbol of the institution’s 160th year.
“Many families, doctors and nurses participated in the planning of this building, and the generosity of thousands of donors, most-notably the transformational $50 million gift from the Buerger family, has made this center a reality,” said Madeline Bell, CHOP’s president and chief executive officer. “We are confident that we have achieved our goal of providing an ideal patient experience by utilizing design features that anticipate and meet the needs of our patients and their families.”
Making the medical experience fun for children while efficient and convenient for families was at the center of planning for the new facility. Spacious waiting rooms for families are filled with natural light and dotted with “Wait, Play, Learn” areas to provide patients and their siblings a venue for educational toys and games. A relaxing 14,000-square-foot roof garden will afford space for recreation as well as rehabilitation sessions, while a 2.6-acre landscaped outdoor plaza will offer a safe open area for play, entertainment and emotional recharging. Clinical areas are co-located for efficient travel within the Center and advanced electronic systems will reduce wait times for appointments and expedite registration and checkout, while fully integrated electronic health records will bring the facility closer to a paperless system.
Easily distinguishable from the neighboring buildings, the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care boasts a unique architecture; 12 stories high, with a curving façade boasting primary colors, and a glass-lined exterior admitting abundant natural light. Its most distinctive qualities, however, include a multitude of features designed to foster a relaxing and healing environment for children and families. One example is the 14,000-square-foot Roof Garden with shade arbors, a fountain and water channel, a play area and a running path.
Other notable features include:
- A physical therapy gym with a two-story climbing wall
- Sub-areas for different age and developmental levels
- An outdoor dining terrace adjacent to a 2.6-acre landscaped plaza with a Children’s Discovery Garden
- A multitude of interactive play installations, geared to a range of ages, in the waiting areas of each clinical department
There are family lactation rooms and a rehab kitchen for patients to practice activities of daily living. There’s even a mock scanner room, where children can practice lying motionless during a noisy MRI session.
Bell added that other building features, such as five levels of underground parking, and electronic check-in and preregistration areas on each floor, will streamline the registration process and result in shorter wait times for families. These design features will enable CHOP to accommodate over 200,000 outpatient appointments annually. The Center encompasses 700,000 square feet, with the ability to add another 175,000 square feet, if needed in the future.
The first clinical departments to occupy the new center will be orthopedics, oncology, radiology, and otolaryngology, with other subspecialties to follow.
Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care design and construction team
- Architect of record an interiors: FKP Architects
- Design architect (exterior and public space): Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
- Interior design consultant and project wayfinding and graphics: Stanley Beaman & Sears
- Central utility plant: Ballinger
- Landscape: Nelson Byrd Woltz, Landscape Architects
- MEP engineer: Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, LLC
- Structural engineer: LeMessurier Consultants
- Civil engineer: Pennoni Associates, Inc.
- Construction manager: Turner Construction Company