Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Medical Behavioral Unit, the first of its kind in the nation, is an enhanced pediatric inpatient unit for patients who require not only an inpatient stay, but also have a developmental, psychiatric or behavioral diagnosis to consider.
As part of a multidisciplinary team lead by ZGF Architects, Metcalfe was charged with designing environmental graphics and wayfinding elements throughout the new unit. These graphics were designed to be both playful and calming, since some of the unit’s patients become overwhelmed by certain visual stimuli. The team focused on the use of biophilic imagery to create a peaceful atmosphere. A growing body of research has shown that images of nature can help patients instinctively relax during what may otherwise be an overwhelming experience.
Large photographs of flora mark each patient room doorway and are paired with handcrafted illustrations embedded directly into the patient headwall. Additional illustrations were added to walls and glass partitions throughout common spaces like the playroom and lounges for staff and families.