SickKids Surgical Waiting Area, The 'Playroom'

Toronto, Ontario

Client: The Hospital for Sick Children
Size: 6,000 sq.ft. (600 sq.m.)

The Surgical Waiting Area, also known as “The Playroom”, is a complex and dynamic environment, welcoming both ambulatory and inpatient children and their families. For many children, same day admission is their first and perhaps only hospital experience. Over the years, the number of patients in this unit has risen significantly, and space had been provided on an ad hoc basis, with children and parents being redirected to different areas of the hospital for check-in, assessment, surgery, waiting and post-anesthetic care. To alleviate stress and reduce confusion during an anxiety-ridden period, the hospital renovated this 6,500 sq.ft. cohesive space specifically for these services, with enhanced operating suites and a pre-anesthesia clinic. The spaces provide patients and families with a sense a safety, cleanliness, warmth, privacy, and support. 

Our renovation of the space provides a streamlined, modern design with an underwater sea-aquarium theme. This warm, supportive environment is designed to the highest level of accessibility for a positive surgical experience. Our complex phasing plan ensured that the unit could continue to provide services during construction, and surgical and recovery patient bays were designed to be flexible enough to accommodate alternate uses. Our design for the pre-operative areas allows involvement of the whole family and provides a colourful environment for physical assessments and procedural preparations that decreases children’s fears and stress. Children can be assessed in their parent’s arms or while engaged in play.