The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital is like no other in Oklahoma. The 160-bed hospital fills a special role caring for and rehabilitating children with traumatic injuries and long-term medical conditions. For patients and families, the nonprofit hospital is home for weeks or months, making it crucial that the recently expanded facility feels less like a hospital and more like a residence.
"A lot of these families have already spent 60 to 90 days in the acute care hospitals and are now coming to us," said Lori Boyd, chief operating officer at The Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
Ashley Torres, KKT Architects Furniture Specialist
Ensuring families are comfortable is a key component in KI's design. KI merged the specific requirements for healthcare furniture with an inviting, residential aesthetic which enhances healing.
To increase the number of families it can serve, the hospital expanded its Bethany, Oklahoma campus to include additional patient beds and rooms, meeting spaces and consolidated services. The vision from the onset was a comforting facility designed to make patients and parents feel safe during one of the most tumultuous times of their lives.
Hospital administrators, Tulsa-based KKT Architects and KI worked in unison to blend essential medical services and needs with a residential-inspired feel. Close attention was paid to colors, textures, patterns, furnishings and artwork that minimized intimidating medical equipment and offered a comforting aesthetic.
While creating a home-like setting was important, so was the primary purpose of the Patient Bed Tower expansion: providing the best medical care available. Mockups of patient and clinical exam rooms gave staff an opportunity to provide input on what their work spaces would look like, down to the best placement for electrical outlets.
To support patients and staff, designers sought comfortable and durable furniture that could be easily cleaned. The hospital and KKT explored several manufacturers and gravitated toward KI due to its portfolio and the ability to mix and match elements.
Daylight and welcoming colors – pink, blue, green and orange – bring the building to life. The soft lines and colorful upholsteries of the furniture work in conjunction with the overall design to create child-friendly spaces.
Carol Henderson, Healthcare Design, KKT
Patients and families here are under tremendous stress. The facility's design helps everyone feel comfortable. It is intuitive and engaging. The colors and textures appeal to all ages. The Children's Center adheres to the principles of healthcare design in a colorful, vibrant setting which helps patients and families heal.
Curvilinear lounge seating establishes an immediate sense of approachability in the main lobby. Arranged in semi-circles and shallow s-curves, the seating produces a sense of warmth and movement in the main lobby and a second floor waiting area.
Furniture with larger sitting surfaces were chosen to allow children to stay close to their parents.
“A lot of the time kids want to sit right beside their mom or dad,” Boyd said. “Having a piece of furniture in our waiting rooms where the kids could sit beside their parents without becoming uncomfortable was a big deal. We have to tell these kids no for a lot of healthcare reasons, we didn’t want to tell them no for furniture reasons.”
The curved lines of the furniture, carefully chosen fabrics, and scaled pieces such as miniature Tea Cup™ lounge seating, help patients and siblings feel comfortable while bringing a playful element to the hospital’s surroundings. Lounge seating from the Arissa® lounge seating line is paired with chairs from the Affina® Collection – including a wingback version – to provide a reassuring feel from lobby to patient room.
The expansion added 24 private rooms and 16 long-term critical care units. Overnight stays for parents and visitors are a reality for the traumatic and complex cases. A variety of sleepover options were important to meet the needs of family while allowing staff to work efficiently and effectively.
Most rooms are specified with LaResta® day beds which offer a generous sleep surface. In other rooms, Affina Sleepers provide a more compact sleep solution where medical equipment and vital care functions put a premium on space.
Central to providing the best care possible are the doctors, nurses and staff at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. With the needs of staff in mind, designers focused on creating unique places to rest and recharge.
“The staff’s mental well-being is critical to providing extraordinary care,” Henderson said. “The design provides calming spaces for staff to step away.”
A special breakroom and nook designed just for staff is filled with natural light and uplifting colors. The space provides a place to eat, congregate and chat around standard and café-height Pirouette® tables complemented by Hub® modular seating, Apply® café stools and colorful chairs from the Doni® line.
A private nook off the main breakroom offers privacy and a place to relax and recharge with Sway® lounge chairs. Designed with an orbital motion adapting to the user’s natural body movements, the chair allows users to move forward, back and sideways. Studies have shown rocking to be an innately soothing and relaxing motion, a welcome respite on stressful shifts.
The level of cohesion and unity among team members was one of the highlights of the project. Everyone knew the goal and vision for the building.
Lori Boyd, Chief Operating Officer, Children's Center Rehabilitation Hospital
KI was a member of the team. Anything I asked for, no matter how crazy, they'd say, 'Yes it could be a possibility' or, 'No, that's not a possibility but I understand your vision, and this might be along the same lines.' They always had a solution to propose with my questions.
The finished building brought a well-earned sense of pride and appreciation of being part of a team and project supporting patients, families and staff.
“Oklahoma is fortunate to have a state-of-the-art place where children can heal surrounded by family and professionals,” KKT Principal Brandon Hackett said. “The Children’s Center is a testament to a great organization and a great team with a consistent goal. We’re proud to be part of that team.”