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Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Phoenix, AZ

September 2012
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
American Art Resources


Firm's role on the project:  Planning, Programming, Architecture, Design, Interiors


EBD Goal

The goal for the hospital’s art program was to create an environment in which art would aid in reducing stress and foster wellbeing while functioning as a supportive component in the overall healing process. The art should be child-appropriate and adult-friendly with a broad ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic appeal for the immensely diverse clientele.


The expansion at Phoenix Children’s Hospital consists of 750,000 square feet of new space and includes a new patient tower and an ambulatory care building. The primary challenge for the art program was creating a harmonious flow of significant works of art in a very open design plan. It was vital that each work of art be unique to hold the attention of viewers in order to provide positive distraction. At the same time, each work had to complement the others in order to keep from creating a sense of discord. Additionally, the art needed to provide the functional aspect of enclosing workspaces reducing stress for patients and staff alike.


In keeping with the “oasis” design theme created by the architects, the art program draws from regional themes depicting indigenous flora and fauna for much of its imagery.  The team workstations are wrapped in murals of desert life, and each floor has a distinctive plant or flower which becomes part of the way-finding program. The atrium features a monumental “rain” sculpture suggesting growth and rejuvenation and relief from the harsh reality of stress. Larger-than-life mosaic animals greet viewers on each of the building’s 12 floors of elevator lobbies. Each patient floor features numerous original works of art designed to be a positive distraction for patients and families waiting in clinics.  Works range from paintings to glass to metal, all chosen with the unique challenges in mind. Lastly, all of the art was selected to appeal to a broad range of ages and to have an underlying sophistication that will also keep adults engaged.