Project Architect

Denver, Colorado


When The Children’s Hospital set out to design and build its new 1.44 million-square-foot facility, the mission was straightforward: to create a family-centered care center where children could heal, and to include the latest advances in medical-facility design. When patients enter the hospital, they and their family, and friends, are welcomed into an environment that is, colorful, nurturing, and comfortable.

The heart of the building—the four-story Boettcher Atrium—captures the whimsy and spirit of the hospital via a terrazzo floor that incorporates butterflies, snowflakes, fish, and a variety of familiar shapes. The hospital’s art program, a critical component of its healing environment, extends to the walls, where glass panels feature a variety of images like snowflakes that, upon closer inspection, are composed of animals, skaters, and baseball players. Additionally, images of rustic Indian paintbrush, rocks with lichen, and colorful aspen leaves brighten vinyl tiles in the cafeteria. Trees dusted with fresh snow, mountain meadow scenes, and aspen trees are etched into glass partitions throughout the hospital.

The color palette is also of note, consisting of various shades of green, violet, yellow, blue, and turquoise, all of which were selected for their healing qualities and applied based on the activities performed in a space.  Brighter palettes were utilized in areas like the atrium, cafeteria, and clinic areas, while a more subdued palette was applied in the chapel, intensive care, and respite areas. Natural light was maximized throughout the facility.

The patient rooms were designed to host just one child, and in the spirit of family-centered care, each room has sleeping accommodations for family members, plus adequate storage, a desk, and data ports, so families can comfortably stay with children.  Separate family suites have also been included in the facility.

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is softly lit and quiet, reflecting the latest medical research that demonstrates low light levels and a quiet atmosphere with privacy improve infants’ wellbeing. For teenage patients, a 3,000 square-foot “hot spot” just for teens features a movie theater, pool table, basketball arcade, and a music/reading room. Additional play spaces for children are located throughout the hospital.

Multiple amenities are also provided for hospital staff, including lounges, staff showers, exercise facilities, inside bicycle storage, and a staff-only terrace.


The Children’s Hospital

Design Architect:
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects
320 SW Oak Street
Suite 500
Portland, Oregon 97205
P: 503.224.3860
F: 503.224.2482

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Robert Packard, Managing Partner
Robert Frasca, Design Partner (Registered/FAIA)
Jan Willemse, Design Partner (Registered/AIA)
Sharron van der Meulen, Interior Design Principal
Terri Johnson, Interior Design Principal
Kip Storey, Project Architect

Architect of record:
H+L Architecture
1621 18th Street
Suite 110
Denver, Colorado
P: 303.295.1792
F: 303.292.6437

Interior designer:
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects
320 SW Oak Street
Suite 500
Portland, Oregon 97205
P: 503.224.3860
F: 503.224.2482

Structural/Civil Engineer:
S.A. Miro, Inc.

Design M/E/P Engineer:
Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers

Associate M/E/P Engineer:
Cator, Ruma & Associates

Landscape: EDAW

Lighting: Francis Krahe & Associates Inc.

Acoustical:   Colin Gordon & Associates

Medical Equipment Planner: CPI Group

AV/IT/Communications: Sparling

Associate IT Consultant: Rimrock Group, Inc.

Art Consultant: Eloise Damrosch

Commissioned Artists: Duke Beardsley, Carolyn Braaksma, John Buck, Jim Budish, John Fielder, Larry Kirkland, Patty Maly, Jésus Moroles, Karen Story and Mary Williams

ArtHouse Design, Graphics/Wayfinding

General contractor:
Phipps/McCarthy – a joint venture

Eckert & Eckert and Basil Childers

Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects



Structural system:

Metal: Firestone Building Products

Glass: Viracon Inc.

Entrances: Marshfield Door Systems

Sliding doors: Marshfield Door Systems

Locksets: Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies and Von Dupri

Security devices: Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies and Von Dupri

Interior finishes:
Acoustical ceilings: Ecophon Group, USG Corporation, Adams Campbell Company

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: 9Wood, Inc., New World Millworks

Wallcoverings: Carnegie, Maharam and Steelcase Inc.’s Designtex

Paneling: ISEC Incorporated

Solid Surface: Aristech Acrylics, Dupont

Rubber Flooring: Freudenberg Building Systems, Inc.

Sheet Vinyl: Lonseal, Tarkett Marley Floors

Vinyl Tile: Steelcase Inc.’s Designtex

Ceramic tile: American Olean, Kohler Co. Interiors Group’s Ann Sacks div., Pratt and Larson Ceramics, Tandus USA Inc.

Resilient flooring: Armstrong World Industries, Inc., Farbo Flooring, Tarket

Carpet: Atlas Carpet Mills Inc., Interface Corporation, J&J Industries Carpet System

Carpet Tile: Shaw Industries Group, Inc

Office furniture: Steelcase

Auditorium seating: Skeie AS

Cafeteria seating: Knoll Inc.

Cafeteria tables: Berco Inc.

Children’s furniture:  Agati Inc., Dauphin, Dellarobbia, Gordon International, Herman Miller Inc., Magnus Olesen A/S and TotaLibra (now DEMCO Library Interiors)

Conference seating:  Brayton International Inc. and Knoll Inc.

Conference tables: Nienkämper

Files:  Herman Miller Inc.

Lounge seating:  Bernhardt Furniture Company, Brandrud, Steelcase Inc.’s Brayton International Inc., Dauphin, Keilhauer, Magnus Olesen A/S, New World Millworks (custom design), Swedese Möbler and Tuohy Furniture Corporation

Outdoor furniture:  Knoll Inc. and Landscape Forms Inc.

Patient beds: Stryker Corporation

Patient over-bed tables: NK Medical Products

Patient room seating: Gordon International, Nemschoff Inc (custom design sofa/sleeper)., Sleepcare Inc. and Weiland
Shelving: TotaLibra (now DEMCO Library Interiors)

Upholstery: Knoll Inc., Mahaaram, Sina Pearson Textiles, Steelcasem Inc.’s Designtex

Interior ambient lighting: Genlyte Group, Inc, Louis Poulsen Lighting, WPT Design, Zumtombel Lighting, Inc.

Elevators/Escalators: ThyssenKrupp

Acorn Engineering Company, American Standard, Chicago Faucet Company, Crane Plumbing and Sloan Valve Company

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Major medical equipment:
Magnetic resonance imaging:  Siemens Medical Solutions

Monitors:  Philips Medical Systems

Radiology:  Siemens Medical Solutions and Swissray International Inc.