Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ryther Campus Renewal Phase I

For the past several years, we have been helping Ryther with a generational renewal of their campus. Our work included a new master plan for the campus, renovation of their Support Services and Clinical Services Buildings, and a top-to-bottom reworking of the public areas of the campus (see previous blog post). In addition to updating the facilities to take care of Ryther's functional and programmatic needs, we returned time and again to the theme that the updated campus needed to manifest and express Ryther's mission to be a welcoming and healing environment for children and their families. Renovation of both buildings and the landscape is nearly complete.

The core of the new campus design began with a re-design of the entry to the campus. The original design located the entry in an alcove of the Outpatient Services Building that was difficult to find and poorly lit.  We relocated the entry to the other side of the building, a large courtyard with a specimen tree, visible as soon as you enter the campus.  

While the 1960s era building exteriors featured handsome brick elements, the grey paint color felt cold and unwelcoming. Each major building on campus now has brighter, kid-friendly colors that compliment the brick. A new colorful entry canopy now provides way-finding and sets the tone for the campus, which express the child-centered nature of the institution using a mixture of gestural elements, cheerful colors, and playful shapes.  

The renovated Ryther Commons features way-finding monuments, such as a kiosk and canopy, to clearly mark the new entry to the Outpatient Services Building. Old side entry before renovation, inset.

Outpatient Services Building custom entry canopy. Special blue door is designed just for kids. 

The double door entry to the clinical services building features a small and brightly-colored door, made specially for children. Portholes in the kids' door add to the spirit of whimsy and discovery. 

The original entry alcove has been re-purposed into a borrowed landscape that provides a soothing backdrop for the lobby. 

Dubbed the "Zen Garden," the original entry (inset) as now viewed from the renovated lobby.

We worked with the clinical staff and interior design firm, PCI, to ensure colors and patterns would be appropriate for the client population. The renovated lobby has been refinished with new materials and furnishings in a calming blue and brown palette. Before the renovation, the room lacked natural light and felt claustrophobic. New ceiling coves with solar tubes bring natural light into the space, while other coves feature colorful hand-blown glass lights.

The renovated lobby with new finishes and furnishings. Ceiling coves feature solar light and blown glass fixtures. 

The lobby also features a unique children's corner. The wood enclosure wall is extra thick and feature a number of openings, each with it own special purpose: one for sitting; one for crawling through; one for storing toys, one for storing books, one for peeping through. 

The floor of the children's corner is made of macerated rubber and sloped to encourage floor-time play. Sparkle-lighting creates unique star-shaped patterns on the ceiling. The walls feature a gradient mural, reminiscent of waves or mountains. 

Children's corner with interactive wood wall, sea-to-sky mural and sloped rubber floor.

We wanted to make sure that the new campus experience started at the street. Previously, the monument signage at the street was dark and difficult to see. Updated signage matches Ryther's current brand and is also more visible. 

New street monument signage is much more visible.
The Support Services Building also received a face lift. Exterior cladding is freshened up with a brighter color. Landscape design, courtesy of Johnson Southerland, opens up the once overgrown entry. Windows on both buildings have been upgraded for energy performance.

Renovated Support Services Building with friendlier color palette and open landscape.
Before the renovation, interior spaces of the Support Services Building were cluttered and broken up by a number of different alterations. We opened up the main vaulted space to house waiting and meeting rooms. 

Support Services Building now features a vaulted waiting room and conference space.
Hallways to clinical and support staff offices once felt dark and daunting. New lighting, paint and carpet, along with ceiling tiles to conceal the ductwork make the corridors feel welcoming and professional. 

Bright and professional hallways lead support staff to their offices. 
Offices across campus were in need of an update, with aging wall panels, old carpet and dim light fixtures. Updated offices received new wall board, finishes, window treatments and lights. 

Updated support staff offices with clean walls, indirect lighting, and new finishes. Previous condition, inset.
Through this renovation process, the campus has come to life and now reflects what Ryther truly is at hearta place of healing for children and families.

Thank you to Ryther and the entire project team for their support in making this vision for the campus a reality:

Architect: Neiman Taber Architects.  David Neiman, Liz Pisciotta, Erin Feeney
Structural Engineer: Harriott Valentine Engineers.  Josh Welch, Doug Clair
Landscape Architect: Johnson Southerland.  Margaret Johnson, Benjamin Barrett 
Interiors and Furniture: PCI.  Paige Otero, Sheryl Guyon
General Contractor:  Abbott.  Andy Powers, Ed Santander, Sidney Morris

Project Managment:  VOKA.  Vlad Oustimovitch and Kathryn Armstrong

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