Dynamic destination: Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach

The outpatient services of Miller Hospital for Children and Women of Long Beach in Long Beach, California have been provided through more than 35 clinics, presenting a logistical challenge for families seeking care. From blood draws and imaging to orthopedics, neurology, oncology, and rehabilitation services, families have been navigating multiple appointments to different locations on any given day. Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village, which opened in February, provides a comprehensive outpatient destination for children in the hospital, while also supporting a collaborative and effective model of care.

The four-story, 80,000-square-foot building, which is expected to receive LEED Gold certification, takes advantage of its prominent location in the southeast corner of the hospital’s campus to become a dynamic anchor and to reinforce the focus on pediatrics on campus. The building is organized in an L-shape which reduces the distance from entering the patient clinics and increases the window area to allow natural light to penetrate the building. The main entrance is located in the inner corner of the footprint with the north and west wings opening towards the heart of the medical campus. This creates two main facades: one facing the city and public roads and the other facing the heart of the medical campus. Stained glass, stair towers, balconies, and a large orange cube in the corner create an inviting height, while a multicolored clear glass entrance canopy welcomes users into the lobby.

Clean lines, organic shapes, and bold colors provide fun design elements for all ages while providing intuitive way-finding cues. For example, colored strips embedded in the terrazzo and resilient flooring support circulation and guide patients and families to the various clinics. The clinics’ access areas are defined by brightly painted destination walls and complemented by organic forms in the ceilings. Exam room doors and entry floors are interspersed with different colors as child-friendly communication tools.

Project team including c/a architects (Long Beach, CA), Lean methodology and design-build approach to deliver the project’s operational vision. The Lean process gave staff a voice in clinic design and allowed the hospital to improve operations. For example, offices are usually empty for part of the week, with average usage between 30 and 40 percent. Incorporating services within the hotel concept takes advantage of the overall suite design and allows practices to move in and out, as needed. The building can then be used more efficiently by not having space for a single service line or practice, with an expected utilization factor of better than 80 percent.

Furthermore, the use of on-stage/off-stage spaces for staff improves efficiency and operational costs. The design and build approach also allowed for greater efficiency with the project schedule, resulting in the building being delivered on time and within budget, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Project details:

Facility Name: Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach

Location: Long Beach, California.

Completion date: February 2021

Owner: Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital of Long Beach

Total building area: 80,000 square feet.

Total construction cost: N/A

Cost / square meter. Feet: N/A

Architect: C/A Architects

Interior Designer: C/A Architects

General Contractor: Turner Construction Company.

Engineers: TK1SC (MEP, Lighting), MHP (Structural), Madole & Associates (Civil)

Builder: Turner Construction Company

Landscape Architect: Cummings Curley & Associates

LEED: Brightworks Sustainability

Methane barrier: Kleinfelder

Acoustics: Schwob Acoustics

Signs: SKA Design

Writing specification: AWC West

Equipment consulting: Roloff International

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Written by Joseph

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