Some info about the project.
Client: ACI Pediatrics
Size: 2,800 sf
Date Completed: 2010
Improvements were made to a 2,800 square-foot grey shell office space for the newest office of ACI Pediatrics, a family oriented practice providing medical care for the children of Las Vegas for over two decades.
The design of the space supports ACI Pediatrics’ goal to encourage not only sound health and body, but also a sound mind through encouraging exploration and discovery in their environment. In an effort to reduce anxiety often associated with a visit to the doctor, the space provides layers of interaction and exploration with the environment to engage children at different stages of development. Each visit to the office is marked by various events, or stops, along the way from the waiting room to the exam room.
DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION
The waiting room encourages interaction and exploration points throughout the space. Children can discover hidden treasures hidden among native stones in the gabion wall or search for dinosaur bones encased in the pre-cast concrete reception desk. They can explore the seven continents through small dioramas enclosed within the wall or hide from giant bugs invading from the ceiling. Younger ones can develop eye-hand coordination at the integrated play wall, or simply try on funny faces and hats imposed on the glass dividing the well- and sick-waiting rooms.
STOPS ALONG THE WAY…
Moving from the waiting room to their next destination, the children have a whole new set of discoveries along the way. They first set foot onto a trail of ‘puddles’ staggered across the linoleum floor, allowing them to hop to their next destination. The reclaimed wood wall and ceiling treatment at the scale alcove gives a feel of nestling into an old barn, while exposing fun textures and materials to look at while being weighed.
Turning down the hall toward the exam room, children are greeted by expressive faces of babies from around the world depicted in oversized wall photos. Upon closer look, children can find an animal x-ray box, hiding animals, or foot prints set in a sand textured wall base to interact with along the way.
Each exam room is provided with a unique identity, designated by animals native to our desert region at each entrance. Animal tracks and photos of each species mark the entrance, providing visual and tactile way finding elements with which the children can associate.
TEACHING ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Underlying the design of ACI Pediatrics is a focus on establishing a sense of environmental steward- ship at an early age. Educating and developing interest in the natural environment of the Mojave Desert is an essential part of guiding the children to be its future stewards.
The layers of interaction and exploration points throughout the space are available for the children to play with while passively learning about their natural environment.
The gabion wall encases large native stones in a steel cage, demonstrating how the natural and built environments can work together to create a regional identity through the use of a common material palette.
Awareness about the region’s prehistoric and present day flora and fauna is also encouraged. Kids can engage in a paleontology exploration of the hidden ‘fossilized’ dinosaur bones and shells encased in the pre-cast concrete reception desk.
They can also learn about local wildlife at the entrances to the exam rooms, where each one is uniquely identified by an animal, bird, or reptile native to the Mojave Desert. These visual cues are provided with vibrant close-up photos, as well as their footprint, or tracks, imprinted at a toddler’s height to encourage tactile exploration while providing an awareness that can connect to what they see when walking in the undisturbed desert environment.