In the new main lobby, hospital zones and the Discovery Trail are introduced through an interactive 3D diorama that is integrated into the reception desk and the illustrated wall map found nearby. Both outline the easiest path across the hospital while highlighting primary destinations, presented as a journey of exploration with memorable landmarks that assist wayfinding and promote interest and reprieve. The diorama, imbedded into the reception desk, can be controlled by both staff and visitors to introduce the hospital’s zone system while serving as a positive distraction element, allowing parents to focus on the check-in process while children learn about the lay-of-the-land in an approachable and positive way.
The hospital is organized into four zones, all of which can be navigated using the Discovery Trail – a conceptual pathway wayfinding tool that connects all of the zones through the hospital and guides patient families along the easiest path from one end to the other. Each zone – Forest, River, Mountain, and Ocean – is inspired by the natural environment of the region Seattle Children’s serves. Zone identification is reinforced through landmark murals showcasing each zone’s natural world and the flora and fauna found within. Animals are depicted interacting with or caring for others while on a pathway, emphasizing comfort and harkening back to the Discovery Trail.
Detailed consideration was given to ensure colors and artistic expressions supported positive notions across cultures and religions, ensuring the theme of comfort and care was universal to all. This allows for a welcoming experience across languages, backgrounds, and age groups, allowing patients and families to be confident and connected along their journey.
Together, this integrated program facilitates a clear and comfortable navigational experience for the unique needs of patient families –one that’s rooted in Seattle Children’s core value of compassionate care.
Lara Swimmer Photography, Benjamin Benschneider Photography (photography)