A Welcoming Oasis in the Desert Uses Armstrong Flooring for Color-Coordinated Wayfinding
The goals for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s new addition were threefold: improve upon the existing hospital design, create
a new campus image that was bold and unique, and improve the current wayfinding. Members of the design team at HKS Inc., Dallas,
Texas, considered wayfinding their most difficult challenge because they wanted to create something that was childlike but
not childish. It had to be as comfortable and fun for a 3 year-old girl to navigate as it was for a 19 year-old boy. They
solved the problem by giving each floor its own identity and personality. Armstrong MARMORETTE™ linoleum, MEDINTECH® homogeneous sheet and MIGRATIONS® BioBased Tile® floors helped designers accomplish their objective for creating wayfinding suitable for children of all ages.
Need Help? Look for the Purple Flower
Every color, finish, piece of artwork and material in the hospital’s new, 775,000 square foot, 12-story, free-standing tower
is designed to create a welcoming oasis in the desert, providing shade and healing while emulating the natural beauty of the
surrounding mountains and desert. But it’s easy to get lost in the desert, let alone a huge hospital. People help orient themselves in physical spaces and navigate from place to place by remembering visual clues. “That’s why we decided to give each floor and clinic its own, distinctive color palette, landmark desert animal and desert
botanical, in addition to floor level numbers and views to the outside,” says Iris Dates, Vice President of Interior Design
at HKS. She explains, “Each level and area in the facility has its own major color and three minor colors. For example, the
ICU’s main color is purple and everything about it follows that color scheme. Stressed parents and patients wayfind by remembering
or being directed to the purple floor with the jackrabbit sculpture or the room across from the large purple flower.”
All the Right Colors and Performance
The hospital already had six color standards, and this new tower added two additional standards to the mix. Fortunately, the
flagship linoleum product line from Armstrong, MARMORETTE™, had the breadth of color needed, which made the designer’s job
a lot easier. “Armstrong had the exact color palette, in fact, it was perfect. The hospital also wanted low maintenance floors
with heat-welded seams for easy maintenance, and they wanted to use sustainable flooring. MARMORETTE easily met all the requirements,”
says Dates. MARMORETTE linoleum is part of CONTINUUM™, the color and design system from Armstrong that uses a simple, organized
tonal step system and cross connected colors with different product types to help optimize color selections across the entire
portfolio of Armstrong commercial flooring products. MARMORETTE is made from rapidly renewable, natural materials and is protected
by the exclusive NATURCote™ UV-cured, superior performance coating from Armstrong.
The design team specified Armstrong MEDINTECH® for procedure rooms because the building code mandated a homogeneous product.
“MEDINTECH is a standard for us when we need a solid vinyl floor, like Old Faithful, and it came in the color we needed with
no deviation from the hospital’s color standards,” says Dunn. MEDINTECH is a proven industry performer with colors that coordinate
with the entire portfolio of flooring solutions from Armstrong. The floor has superior durability with a UV-cured coating
that provides a low-maintenance finish.
Both the “on stage” and “off stage” spaces were creatively crafted using the same, bright color palette to make the staff
feel uplifted. Every area has a similar design feel but uses different materials to meet budget limitations. Finding budget
friendly options within the broad portfolio of Armstrong floors is not a problem. Originally, the backroom areas were going
to use VCT flooring for economic reasons, but the hospital administrators and the design team were attracted to Armstrong
MIGRATIONS® for the product’s unique formulation and affordable price point. MIGRATIONS contains BioStride® polymer made with
rapidly renewable, U.S.-grown plant ingredients.
Armstrong ceilings and grid systems are also used throughout the project. Optima Open Plan®, Mesa™, Clean Room™ FL, TechZone™
and Prelude XL® 15/16˝ Exposed Tee System grid are used exclusively wherever acoustical performance is required.
The design team did not overlook hospital flooring installation complexity and costs when they created their oasis in the
desert. Dates says rather than creating designs that would require extensive cutting and heat welding, they worked with the
floor roll width to stay within budget. She explains, “We took the hospital’s serpentine shape and MARMORETTE’s width into
consideration in the value engineering phase of the project. We discovered a neat idea; we could run repeating horizontal
bands of color across the entire building’s footprint. As the building curves, the linear bands of color intersect, creating
a gorgeous, cost-effective design. Seen from overhead, the way this works on each level of the hospital is quite magical.”
Dunn says everyone is delighted with the results.
The Armstrong collection of high performance products meet the most rigorous challenges in healthcare environments today.
Armstrong has a broad range of products to meet all types of space requirements, from beautiful colors that follow hospital
standards, to aseptic applications in operating rooms, to budget friendly environmental products, Armstrong is the one stop
Phoenix Children’s Hospital
|DESIGNER / ARCHITECT:
MARMORETTE, MEDINTECH, MIGRATIONS