The "Building Hope" expansion of the Seattle Children's Hospital was designed with family needs and operational efficiency in mind. One of the objectives of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca, the project's architect, was to create a look for the building that was both soothing and inviting. That key aesthetic objective was achieved in part through the use of custom wall panels on the exterior. They were fabricated from VMZINC®, a product of Umicore Building Products USA, Raleigh, NC.
The 330,000 sq. ft. expansion is state of the art. It was built with the growing needs of the region in mind and caters to patients ranging in age from birth to 21 residing in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. Completed in April 2013, the expansion includes a new emergency center that is nearly double the size of the previous unit. The critical care unit offers 32 new private rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology to aid the hospital’s most vulnerable patients. The expansion also includes a cancer center with 48 private rooms for child, adolescent and young adult cancer patients. The cancer center provides the comfort and privacy families need during times of difficult treatment.
Zimmer Gunsul Frasca's design of the new hospital elements uses 38,000 square feet of VMZINC® custom Interlocking panels in PIGMENTO red, helping create a distinctive appearance that also capitalizes on zinc's capacity to complement other materials used for the project. Using the PIGMENTO panels allows a variety of colors from the interior to complement the exterior and produce an eye-catching outside view that puts visitors at ease before they even enter the impressive building. The zinc panels, installed by Washington Glass & Glazing, are able to withstand harsh elements and provide a sustainable, green element that contributed to the project’s pending LEED-NC Gold status.
Through the Building Hope expansion, Seattle Children’s Hospital is now better prepared to deliver its next generation of care. These new spaces promote a safe and healing environment, and improve the campus’s overall flow. The use of zinc on the building’s exterior creates a colorful and inviting aesthetic that also invokes strength and durability – representative of the hospital’s mission to provide the safest, most effective care possible.