Expressive Art Therapy Room

Akron Children's Hospital

Akron Children’s Hospital had an idea for creating a space where children could use the creative arts as a way to help with the process of healing and a way for those patients who have a terminal illness to express themselves.

Hasenstab Architects worked with hospital administration and the medical director of the new space to develop a program that would support both the performing and the creative arts in one common space.  Flexibility was important in order to provide and incorporate such arts as music, drama, painting, sketching, and computer graphic arts.

Besides the different types of arts to be performed in the expressive art therapy room, additional consideration of flexibility with bed ridden patients and wheelchairs had to be planned out so they could fully enjoy the facility.

An underutilized courtyard located on the sixth floor and in the middle of the main hospital roof was chosen to be the best location.  The challenge with this location was the 2-story patient units surrounding the outside of the courtyard.  A large crane was used to lift materials over the 8-story building down into the middle of the roof onto the 6th floor courtyard.  The coordination of the materials and efficient use of the time the crane would be on site were challenges of which we were mindful.  Safety was a concern at all times.

Existing artwork that the hospital wanted to reuse was incorporated into the design.  A recording studio was installed so the children can have a history of their musical creations and a projection screen allows for them to be captured visually.  Computer graphic programs can be captured and displayed on the projection screen.

Hasenstab provided architectural, structural engineering and interior design services.

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