ArtHouse Design and Boston Children’s Hospital

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 25


Pop-up book theme blends whimsical art, subtle wayfinding and thoughtful placemaking

DENVER, Colo. and BOSTON, Mass.—Started in 2017, ArtHouse Design has completed its immersive experiential graphic design (EGD) program for the 11-story, 575,000-square-foot Hale Family Clinical Building at Boston Children’s Hospital. The EGD program centers around a 3-D pop-up book theme and features interactive, multi-layer automatons under 8-foot arches that foster a sense of wonder and engagement. Boston Children’s opened the state-of-the-art clinical building for occupancy with a public celebration and parade, followed by patient move-ins, this summer.

“Working in health care is profoundly rewarding,” said ArtHouse Principal and Design Director Beth Rosa. “An increasing number of studies show that incorporating art into health care environments can have beneficial effects on patient recovery, and our designs offer unexpected moments of calm and wonderment during what can be an otherwise stressful time.”

ArtHouse’s EGD program is intended to distract, surprise and entertain kids without the use of  tech and screens. Carrying forth the Hospital’s eight themed floors of the original clinical building to the new tower, ArtHouse blended authentic Boston iconography, from puffins to harbors to swan boats, with scenes from the metro region recognizable to local and international guests alike. One of the floors features a map of the T and buttons kids can push to light up the routes. Look for the hidden mickey of an ocean creature with a hard shell and two large claws, Henry David Thoreau’s cabin on Walden Pond and trail signs pointing to Mount Greylock, the Appalachian Trail and the White Mountains.

Five years in the making, this project called for a variety of special considerations:

  • Because of COVID-19, ArtHouse had to pivot from its original designs first concepted in 2017. Instead of hands-on mechanical cranks, for example, ArtHouse used motion sensors and electric motors to make elements — and kids — move. This contactless solution is longer-lasting, more cost-effective and more sanitary.
  • As an international hospital, Boston Children’s receives visitors from all over the world. ArtHouse’s designs are inclusive and respectful to different cultures.
  • Extra attention needed to be paid to scalability, lighting, blocking and positioning due to the range of materials used in the fabrication of the artwork, from hand-painted and -sculpted polymer clay to etched and paint-filled wood to acrylic and print pieces.
  • Working remotely from Denver, with partners across the country, ArtHouse handled the logistics of getting the life-size art pieces transported across the country, delivered to the loading dock and into the elevator — during a pandemic.
  • Because of the various layers and components that came from different fabricators, the order and precision of operations for install mattered — and it varied from floor to floor.

ArtHouse partnered with the artists and engineers of Dillon Works in Seattle, led by Founder and President Mike Dillon, a former Walt Disney Imagineer, and under the leadership of Rosa coordinated the program’s installation with hospital stakeholders, the project architect, the general contractor and multiple subconsultants. Working closely with Boston Children’s project team, ArtHouse developed a design concept that was well received by stakeholders and user groups alike, including most importantly kids who receive treatment and stay at the hospital.

“Whether you’re a first-time visitor or lifelong patient, we hope you’ll discover new things to enjoy each visit and come away with good memories of your experience,” said ArtHouse Principal and Founder Marty Gregg. “We wish you good health, but if you do have to visit Boston Children’s, we hope to make your visit a little more comfortable.”

ArtHouse has won numerous industry and civic awards from HOW, GDUSA, UCDA, ASLA, Graphis and the City of Denver for its work in health care and hospitals, such as Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Source: The Written Effect, 720.989.1912

About ArtHouse Design

ArtHouse Design is a Denver-based, full-service design agency devoted to the creation of beautiful, thoughtful design. Nimble and versatile, ArtHouse has a wide range of expertise, from wayfinding and signage to branding and logos, from print and packaging to digital and web. Specializing in designing and shaping user-friendly, built environments, ArtHouse leads the experiential and environmental graphic design industry in art direction for architecture and interior design. Led by co-principals Marty Gregg, Beth Rosa and Chuck Desmoineaux, ArtHouse’s team of designers creatively develop, enhance and reinvigorate brands while communicating their clients’ visions and goals. Maintaining the highest standards for both their work and relationships with clients, ArtHouse designers are constantly endeavoring to share their passion for design and to make it an enjoyable and fulfilling process along the way. For more, visit ArtHouse’s online newsroom, portfolio and blog, and follow them on Instagram.

Media Contact

ArtHouse Design: Mindy Viering, Writer, Editor and PR Specialist

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