Type of facility: children's therapy unit and child
Client: Good Samaritan Hospital, Puyallup
Project architect: Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership, Seattle
Construction manager: Absher, Puyallup
Completed: October 2000
Size: 42,000 square feet
Cost: $8.6 million
Cost per square foot: $205
From the curved shape of the building exterior to interior details such as animal paw prints on corridor floors and porthole-shaped windows, the Dr. Donald and Beret Mott Children's Center in Puyallup, Wash., calls upon the story of Noah's Ark for its imagery and inspiration.
The children's center, which sits on a three-acre site with a sweeping view of the Puyallup Valley, provides evaluations and therapy for children with nerve and muscle disorders, birth defects and developmental disabilities. It offers occupational and physical therapy, assistive technology, orthotic intervention, computer technology, psychology and speech-language therapy.
"The Noah's Ark concept is a terrific way to give this project dynamic form, interesting spaces, and a forceful sense of inclusion and welcome," says judge Roxanne Sherbeck.
A bridge transports visitors across a dry moat and into the building, which uses curved horizontal cedar siding to create the shape of the ark. The windows that form the bow allow natural light to filter into the main treatment room, creating a sense of warmth. In the lobby, natural tones of wood and a stained concrete floor combine with blue accents to recall earth, water and sky. A variety of animal tracks lead children to various destinations.