The main campus of the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital was overcrowded. The solution was to build a brand-new nearby facility for pediatric outpatient care. The team at IDS, experienced in the health care market, worked with design partner SBRA, Boston, on the first newly constructed building for DMC in nearly 30 years. The result is a five-story 106,550-square-foot facility committed to the health and wellness of children in Detroit and surrounding communities. The project presented an unusual challenge to the team as they were enlisted to negotiate and manage the process of acquiring the desired property from the City of Detroit resulting in an additional phase of community interaction.
The final site for the new facility was located across the street from the main hospital building at the north end of Tolan Playfield. Because of the impact on the neighborhood, the plans had to be approved by the Citizens District Council, a group of individuals who worked and lived in the area. IDS Principal-in-Charge Dave DiCiuccio explains the uniqueness of this procedure. We were part of the project team from the very beginning and worked with DMC on the acquisition of the property from the City of Detroit, he said. We met with members of the City districts and attended many interesting City Council meetings. To accommodate the community needs, IDS did a shading study to see how the final structure would impact the adjacent residences and park. A walkway flanked with berms and landscaping was created to separate the areas and soften the impact of the structure in lieu of the originally proposed block wall.
The facility, with high ceilings and a large number of windows for day light, was designed to create a positive environment for families. The goal was to foster a culture of wellness for primary and preventative care while unifying specialty groups within the same space to invite collaboration and convenience. The warm vibrant facility includes rehabilitation and specialty clinics along with services such as labs, X-ray, immunization, dialysis and infusion. There are almost 100 exam rooms, two large therapy gyms, and the building houses 200 doctors and accommodates 60,000 patient visits per year. An extra special touch for children is the kid-designed art throughout and the child’s voice on the elevator that tells you what floor you’re on.
The facility is fully sustainable and LEED certified with low-flow faucets, daylight and motion sensors. Porous exterior pavement reduces the load on storm sewer drains and also provides a zero-irrigation landscaping system.
The Center was completed in May 2012 and was designed to accommodate future vertical expansion and a connection bridge to the Main Hospital building.