Here is a rendering showing what the Seattle Children’s Hospital campus may look like in 2013. The proposed design features neutral stones, glass and metal – chosen to complement the current architecture and park-like surroundings. The first phase of construction, scheduled to begin in early 2011, will be lower in elevation than the tallest existing building on campus.

Last April, the Seattle City Council gave the expansion a green light. Since then, hospital planners and architects from Zimmer Gunsul Frasca have worked to meet requirements of the Master Plan including height limits, setback standards, and open space requirements.

Phase One is the first of four phases that will transform Children’s Seattle campus over the next 20 years from 250 to 600 beds to meet the community’s growing demand for pediatric specialty care.

“By expanding incrementally, we are building only what we need at any given time and no more,” said Lisa Brandenburg, chief administrative officer at Children’s. “We plan to add 60 to 80 new inpatient beds to the campus in 2013.”

Phase One also includes space for a kitchen, service dock, and an improved emergency department. Some portions of the new campus will have a “green” vegetation roof to absorb runoff, and insulate the building. Hospital planners are also working with the City of Seattle and the community to analyze options for a new helicopter-landing pad.
“Over the last few months, we have listened to hospital staff and patient families in order to design spaces that respond to their needs,” said Brandenburg.

Patient rooms will be designed as eight-room “neighborhoods” with transparent slider doors that provide visibility for families and their care team – ensuring better communication and care coordination.

A watercolor image of the hospital interior

Features include:

  • sleeper sofas,
  • privacy curtains,
  • bathrooms with showers, and
  • care team “porches” – alcoves outside patient rooms that provide closer access for the care team. Supplies on carts can be wheeled into cupboards at each porch, for easy access.

Planners decided to forgo the planned demolition of the Train Building, built in 1978, and shifted the first phase to the south Laurelon Terrace site, where a sky bridge will shorten the distance to existing services such as radiology, imaging and operating rooms. Preserving the Train Building also significantly reduced the first phase of expansion from over 500,000 square feet to approximately 300,000 square feet.

“As we took a closer look, we decided that demolishing the Train Building would be wasteful,” said Todd Johnson, VP of facilities at Children’s. “Retaining it will not only increase efficiency and reduce patient movement, we’ll avoid the need to haul away and dispose of tons of debris.”

Hospital gardeners plan to preserve many of the mature existing trees on the lower site and will create a pocket-park at the corner of 40th Avenue NE and NE 45th Street. To keep traffic away from residential streets, the hospital’s main entry will continue to be Penny Drive.

Learn more about Seattle Children’s expansion plans: