Private Rooms, Precisely Calibrated

UK HealthCare, Kentucky Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

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Lexington, Kentucky | 45,000 sf

Close collaboration yields 77 private rooms for vulnerable infants and a new way of working for the nurses who care for them.
Scultures in UK NICU lobby space. UK NICU lobby space.

Babies in the NICU at Kentucky Children’s Hospital are at the center of a highly specialized care environment, one that is also emotionally intense for their families and the nurses who ensure their survival through round-the-clock care. Private rooms provide controlled care environments— including circadian rhythm lighting and noise reduction—tailored for each patient’s needs. Private rooms are also a sanctuary for parents who may stay on the unit for weeks.

Mock-Up Picture of a Single Patient room. Mock-up of a single patient room in the NICU.
Single patient room at UK NICU. Single patient room at UK NICU.

Efficient design means every piece of equipment from scales to breast pumps has a dedicated home inside each room.

We collaborated closely with UK’s nurses and specialists on the design of the patient room headwalls; the rail system builds in flexibility so additional equipment can be added as necessary. From taped floors and foam walls to a full-fledged prototype built in the university’s nursing college to train future staff, an evolving series of mockups helped focus and refine the room design. Mocking up the patient rooms also helped the nursing staff visualize and adapt to new ways of working together in neighborhoods of private rooms versus the open bays they were used to.

Two nurses at nursing station. Corridor nurse stations give staff the flexibility to complete work while keeping a close eye on multiple patients

Room lighting and temperatures are controllable; sliding glass doors capture borrowed daylight from skylights and exterior windows in each community corridor. Efficient design means every piece of equipment from scales to breast pumps has a dedicated home inside each room. *Project done in collaboration with HGA

Staff break room Respite space lets professionals and physicians take a break when needed, but remain close by.