The outpatient services for Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. were delivered across more than 35 clinics, a logistical challenge for families seeking care. From blood draw and imaging to orthopedics, neurology, oncology, and rehabilitation services, families were navigating multiple appointments in different locations on any given day. The Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village, opened in February, provides a comprehensive pediatric outpatient destination for the hospital, while also supporting a collaborative, efficient model of care.

The four-story, 80,000-square-foot building, which is projected to receive LEED Gold certification, leverages its prominent location on the hospital campus’ southeast corner to become a dynamic anchor and to bolster the pediatric focus on campus. The building is organized in an L-shape that minimizes the distance from the entry to patient clinics and maximizes window area to allow natural light to penetrate the building. The main entry sits at the footprint’s inner corner with north and west wings opening toward the core of the medical campus. This creates two primary façades: one facing the city and public ways and the other facing the heart of the medical campus. Colored glass, stair towers, balconies, and a large orange cube at the corner create an engaging elevation, while a sweeping multicolored translucent glass entrance canopy welcomes users into the lobby.

Clean lines, organic forms, and bold colors offer pleasing design elements for all ages while providing intuitive wayfinding cues. For example, colored ribbons integrated into the terrazzo and resilient flooring support circulation and guide patients and families to the various clinics. Arrival areas at the clinics are designated by brightly painted destination walls and complemented by organic forms in the ceilings. Exam room doors and entry flooring are punctuated with different colors as kid-friendly communication tools.

The project team, including C/A Architects (Long Beach, Calif.), used a Lean methodology and design-build approach to deliver the operational vision for the project. The Lean process gave staff a voice in the clinic design and allowed the hospital to refine processes. For example, typically offices sit empty part of the week, averaging 30 to 40 percent utilization. The consolidation of services within a hoteling concept takes advantage of a universal suite design and allows practices to move in and out, as needed. The building can then be used more efficiently by not having space dedicated to one service line or practice, with a better than 80 percent utilization factor anticipated.

Furthermore, employing onstage/offstage spaces for staff improves efficiency and operational costs. The design-build approach also allowed for greater efficiency with the project schedule, resulting in the building being delivered on time and on budget, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Project details:

Facility name: Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach

Location: Long Beach, Calif.

Completion date: February 2021

Owner: Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach

Total building area: 80,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: N/A

Cost/sq. ft.: N/A

Architect: C/A Architects

Interior designer: C/A Architects

General contractor: Turner Construction Co.

Engineers: TK1SC (MEP, lighting), MHP (structural), Madole & Associates (civil)

Builder: Turner Construction Co.

Landscape architect: Cummings Curley & Associates

LEED: Brightworks Sustainability

Methane barrier: Kleinfelder

Acoustics: Schwob Acoustics

Signage: SKA Design

Specifications writing: AWC West

Equipment consulting: Roloff International