One of many wayfinding elements that will be incorporated into the Building Hope expansion is art. Just like Seattle Children’s existing facility, art will be used to create an overall sense of a healing environment by offering imagery that is calming, helps tell stories, is fun to look at and engages people of all ages. Art will also complement other wayfinding elements like signs, symbols and colors to make it easier for people to navigate their way around the expanded campus.

Recently, a wayfinding planning team selected the artists who will partner with Children’s in creating much of the visual design for the new building. Based on their styles, range of experience and ability to work within an aggressive timeline, the team agreed that Amy Ruppel from Portland, Oregon and Lab Partners from Oakland, California were the best choices.

“We felt that in their current work, both Amy and Lab Partners showed the ability to embrace our Pacific Northwest nature themes, use styles that are engaging for all ages; and develop imagery that has variety, whimsy and a calming effect,” says Lisa Reitzes, project manager for Facility Design. “The team has found them to be youthful, versatile and smart, and we continue to be impressed with how well they incorporate input about what makes Children’s culture unique.”

Amy’s primary focus will be on the forest-themed art of the Building Hope inpatient units, including designs for glass paneled doors, family lounges, quiet rooms and the gym. She is also creating mural-type compositions on wall partitions for the clinical staff spaces on each unit.

Lab Partners will work on the more public aspects of the wayfinding and art program for Building Hope and tying it in to the existing campus. They will design zone icons, areas around and inside elevators, and areas where one zone transitions to another. They will also create art for sky bridges that will connect the existing and new buildings.

Both artists have expressed the desire to create art elements that contribute to the healing environment for patients, families and staff while offering discovery, amusement and positive distraction.