University of Rochester

Rochester Review
November–December 2012
Vol. 75, No. 2

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MEDICAL CENTER Work Begins on Golisano Children’s Hospital By Heather Hare
golisanoHEALING ARTS: Plans for a new Golisano Children’s Hospital (shown here in architectural renderings) include graphical elements, art, and other features that are designed to help create a soothing and engaging environment for children and their families. (Photo: Ballinger Architects)

Golisano Children’s Hospital is well known in upstate and western New York as a place of healing.

Now planners for a new, $145 million building for the hospital are turning to the region itself for inspiration, drawing on the area’s art, décor, and architectural and environmental features to create an interior designed to help heal and soothe children and their families.

Ground was broken in September for the building, which will include eight floors and approximately 245,000 square feet of space dedicated to children and their families. The hospital is named for B. Thomas Golisano, the founder and chairman of Paychex Inc. He pledged $20 million to jump-start fundraising for the new building.

The campaign for a new children’s hospital, the largest single capital project in the University’s history, is part of the Medical Center’s $650 million campaign, which is a key component of the University’s $1.2 billion initiative, The Meliora Challenge.

Each floor of the new hospital is designed with a different theme—including waterways, meadows, gardens, and parks—intended to provide creative opportunities to engage children of all ages. For example, children may be able to push buttons to make bubbles rise through tubes in the wall, evoking images of lakes. In patient rooms, glass frosted with leaves may cast shadows on the floor, creating an imaginary park path.

“We want very ill children to feel soothed, but we want children who aren’t as sick to be as engaged as possible, exploring interactive wall art and kicking leaf shadows down the path of their unit,” says Elizabeth Lattimore, chief administrative officer for the hospital. “We have been careful to make the design appealing to young children while also making it interesting to teenagers and caregivers so our older patients and their families know this is their hospital, too.”