Photo by Alise O’Brien

FACILITY: St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center


ARCHITECT: CannonDesign

The St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care Center is one of only a few stand-alone, comprehensive outpatient facilities in the U.S. focused exclusively on patients up to the age of 21. The center, designed by CannonDesign and located approximately 12 miles from the main St. Louis Children’s Hospital campus in a suburban area, provides community-based care in a more accessible, convenient and less intimidating environment.

The design team conducted broad research to understand how children interact with and perceive health care spaces and also interviewed clinical leaders to understand how treatments, therapies and procedures impact how children are physically positioned during an appointment.

This research ultimately informed the placement of positive distractions — graphic elements on the walls, ceilings and floors. Thus, when a child is seated on an exam table for an immunization, he or she will be seeing interesting graphic elements on the opposite wall, helping him or her become more receptive to treatment by reducing anxiety.