Children's Hospital Oakland, California
The Children’s Hospital entry lobby, a five-story, block-long atrium, was stark white and mostly empty when the hospital administration commissioned a team of designers, including Miller Company, to re-envision the space as a site of respite and gathering. Today the site is transformed into a colorful tropical-themed environment rich in associations. Hand-carved cedar trunks are topped by crowns of tropical-style foliage made from hand-dyed textile, suggesting a lush grove of palm trees. Hand-painted bird and butterfly kites flutter overhead, interspersed with round pod shapes. Painted silhouettes of jungle animals lope the length of the atrium wall. A serpentine bench runs through the space, providing a unifying architectural element. Two raised platforms are used for café service and seating, and also provide an area for public presentations during hospital events. At the rear of the atrium, an outdoor garden features a thriving stand of timber bamboo.