Type of facility: Children's hospital
Client: Children's Hospital Boston
Project architect: Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, Boston
Construction managers: Meredith & Grew, Boston;
Murphy & McManus, Needham, Mass.
Completed: July 2006
Size: 240,000 square feet
Cost: $103 million
Cost per square foot: $429
The key to the design of the 11-story clinical building expansion at Children's Hospital Boston is flexibility.
According to project architects, when needs were assessed for the project back in 1999, only two floors, or about 45,000 square feet, of intensive-care units were planned. But in an effort to capitalize on the full potential of the addition-located on a dense urban site-"soft" space (offices and conference rooms that can later be converted to critical-care uses) and "shell" floors, (unfinished with the exception of elevators and basic service rooms) were incorporated in anticipation of future needs. That brought the project's total square footage to 240,000 when construction began in August 2001.
"We ended up building a whole building-above it, below it-everything kind of grew around the framework of those ICUs, and on maxing out the space," says Uma Ramanathan, a principal at architectural firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott.
Two of the three shell floors have already been outfitted with acute-care beds.
Judges note the harmonious balance of the expansion building within the medical center's site. "The exterior-it's very deftly handled. It's very well done and within the urban context," says competition judge David Thompson. Interior design of this children's facility was also well-calculated to appeal to all children.
"There was such attention to making the place not only a hospital, but a children's hospital," says judge Marsha Berger. "I don't think they should be like a playground, where children think they're coming for fun, but on the other hand, they have to take the scariness out of it and that's what they managed to do."