Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Critical Care Building

Experiential Graphics- Large scale (environments or systems)

Project Narrative

In November 2021, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital opened the doors to its state-of-the-art 632,500 square foot Critical Care Building on the hospital’s main campus in Avondale, Ohio.

This new facility involved extensive collaboration through 13 design events, a variety of listening sessions, surveys, and observations that included hospital staff, patients, and the community to create a healing environment that optimizes flow, assists staff in prioritizing their mental and physical well-being and provides uplifting, comfortable spaces for families to allow them to sleep, work, connect and re-charge during extended stays.

The selected theme for the building “kaleidoscope”, represents Cincinnati Children’s collaborative spirit and commitment to discovery as well as celebrating diversity. Just like the colors of a kaleidoscope, individually we are special and unique. However, we create something stronger and more magical when we come together.

The “kaleidoscope” theme is deployed throughout the building through special touches within the interiors including the playful use of color, materials, lighting, and ever-changing graphics with hidden elements to discover on each surface of the environment. Throughout the building are 1,100 pieces of original art co-created by 34 professional artists alongside 379 students from 15 schools throughout the region, 140 patients, and 83 staff members. The wayfinding system leverages the colorful interior and branded graphic visual cues and memory-making of the artwork to create an integrated system to guide throughout the facility.


Project Details

Submission Category

Experiential Graphics- Large scale (environments or systems)

Date of Completion

November, 2021

Submitting Firm Name

Kolar Design, Inc.

Project Team


ZGF Architects, GBBN Architects