We recently had the pleasure of photographing the cheerful and modern Sutter Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Sacramento for EwingCole. With construction led by Boldt, the 395,000 sq ft, 214-bed facility is quickly turning into the leading pediatric and women’s health center in Northern California.
You might wonder (as I did!) why these two demographics demand a unique facility. The answer? Pure numbers. The under-14 set accounts for nearly 20% of the total U.S. population, and women account for more than 51% (by the age of 85, there were nearly twice as many women as men!) On top of that, studies have shown that women are more likely to use health care services than men. Big numbers mean big business!
Amazing things happen when design focuses on the needs and desires of women and children — spaces that typically feel mundane and utilitarian get a breath of energy and warmth, and the whole experience feels friendlier and more inviting. Even the building’s mass and facade are designed to be gentler and less intimidating, with its curving and playful lines.
From the cool and colorful art throughout the facility, to the choice of furnishings and even bed linens, every detail has been designed to put these patients at ease in the sometimes scary world of hospitals and waiting rooms.
Inside, you don’t feel like you’re in an eight-story mega-hospital. Each space feels calm and cozy, from the women’s intensive care and labor/delivery/recovery areas to the pediatric and neonatal units.
What’s a hospital without people?! It can be challenging to include real patients, nurses and doctors in photographs, for privacy and safety reasons. Initially, we hadn’t planned to include people at all, but ended up hiring about 15 extras from a local temp agency for the lobby shots. We love working with these agencies because they always send us such wonderfully diverse and energetic groups — they really give our photographs the feeling of being populated by real people.
Working on this project with Michael Lehman of EwingCole was truly a pleasure — you can’t help but appreciate his sincere and down-to-earth personality on big projects like these! We’d met with him on a portfolio showing, and the timing couldn’t have been better — he’d just completed work on Sutter and felt that our approach was perfect for this project. We were thrilled!
See the Featured Gallery for more images.