The journey for the Bill Holmes Tower began in 2005. Throughout its 50-year history, CHOC Children’s Hospital (Orange, Calif.) had relied on a partnership with adjacent St. Joseph’s Hospital for access to surgical, laboratory, imaging, and emergency services for its patients. The hospital wanted to improve the family experience by broadening its care and bringing comprehensive treatment under its own roof.

Located in a compressed urban setting, CHOC’s area to expand was limited. The solution was to remove an outdated office building and a limited-capacity parking structure to best connect the new tower to CHOC’s existing facilities.

CHOC began the process by appointing a medical director of quality and patient safety, Dr. James Cappon. Dr. Cappon and the design team considered nearly 450 safety enhancement possibilities: private patient rooms; same-handed exam, operating, and patient rooms; advanced control and communications technologies; antibacterial material choices; and more.

The tower’s patient and family-centered care experience is designed to reduce stress and make patients and their families feel comfortable. The building’s second floor includes a café, gift shop, and family resource center, along with two outdoor garden areas, age-focused play rooms, a mediation and prayer center, and the West Coast’s first Seacrest Studios: an interactive multimedia broadcast center created in partnership with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.

Earth-themed levels aid in wayfinding and positive distraction. Beginning with Fossils on the lower level, visitors make their way up to Under the Sea, the Beach, and so on, all the way up to Birds and Sky on the fifth level and the Solar System and Outer Space on the top levels.

The Bill Holmes Tower began receiving patients in February 2013. The building currently has three floors of shell space for future expansion as the facility continues to fulfill its vision and mission.

Project Team

Architect: FKP Architects

Construction manager: Jacobs

Contractor: McCarthy Building Cos.

Associate architect: WBSA

Interior designer: Inventure Design

Structural engineer and MEP: TMAD Taylor & Gaines

Civil engineer: Thomsen Engineering

Environmental graphics: Formation

Landscape designer: Cathcart/Begin Associates