Patient Care

Interior Design of Golisano Children’s Hospital to Be Soothing, Engaging

Aug. 24, 2012
New building celebrates New York state’s landscapes while entertaining and educating

The new Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center will be a place of healing, but it will also be a place to celebrate who our patients, families, faculty and staff are. Ballinger architects and hospital staff released new renderings of the future interior of the hospital that include graphic elements, décor, art and architectural features that will showcase the many beautiful landscapes of upstate New York.

Each floor will have a different theme, such as, waterways, meadows, gardens and parks, with an icon to represent it. The icon will help families remember which floor they’re on and find their way back to it, and the floor’s theme will provide creative opportunities to engage with children of all ages in interactive ways. For example, on the Lake floor, children may be able to push buttons to cause bubbles to rise up through tubes in a wall. Other ways the theme will be incorporated into the building are more subtle. On the Park floor, glass in patient rooms may be frosted with leaves that will cast shadows along the floor with a linoleum park path in it.

“We want very ill children to feel soothed but we want children who aren’t as sick to be as engaged as possible, exploring interactive wall art and kicking leaf shadows down the path of their unit,” said Elizabeth Lattimore, chief administrative officer. “We have also been careful to make the design appealing to young children while also making it interesting to teenagers and caregivers, so our older patients and their families know this is their hospital, too.”

The new $145-million building, located on Crittenden Boulevard and attached to the Medical Center and Strong Memorial Hospital, will be eight floors and approximately 245,000 square feet of space dedicated to children and their families. The groundbreaking is planned for next month with an expected opening in 2015.  It is being financed through a combination of equity, loans, and a comprehensive fundraising effort. 

Lattimore said she hopes to incorporate local history displays through the hospital that would rotate out to provide families with an additional education opportunity – or source of community pride – while they are here. The displays would also give upstate communities a way to help brighten children’s experiences while they’re inpatients. (As programs like this are developed for the new building over the next three years, information on how to contribute will be available on

"The new building represents an enormous opportunity to design and configure the space to best serve the way we practice medicine and celebrate health in the 21st century," said Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., William H. Eilinger chair of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children's Hospital. "We're not only providing the space for parents to participate in the healing process; we're also giving them the tools they will need to keep their children healthy once they leave the hospital. We’re not only providing the equipment our staff needs to do their jobs; we’re also giving them an environment that will welcome them each morning and remind them of what an important part of the Upstate landscape they and the healthy habits they foster are.”

Floor themes

Ground Floor (Imaging) – Lake

1st floor (Lobby) – All New York landscapes

3rd floor (NICU) – Meadow

4th floor (future OR) – TBD

6th floor (future PICU) – Gardens

7th floor (General Care) – Park

8th floor (General Care) – City

Themes for other floors, including potential floors above 8, may celebrate the state’s mountains and gorges.

To explore the building and naming opportunities online, visit and click on “Explore Our New Building.”