(GAINESVILLE, FL) Sept. 3, 2014 — In a celebration as vibrant as its surroundings, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville dedicated its dazzling new entranceway and the Sebastian Ferrero Atrium. Recently completed by Ajax Building Corporation, the project transformed the building’s entry, giving the hospital a welcoming “visual identity” and bright airy space.
Designed by the architecture firm Ponikvar and Associates Inc., the $11 million project included overlaying the red brick façade with an eye-popping mosaic of blue, red, purple and yellow panels. Aqua-toned glass windows define the exterior pavilion as well.
Inside, a brightly colored floor in the atrium greets patients and their families to the children’s hospital. Walls also are covered with shiny tiles and nature-themed art. A sculpture commissioned by the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation and created by renowned Miami-based artist Romero Britto portrays a boy in an orange, yellow and red striped shirt and green polka-dot pants reaching skyward for a butterfly.
Interactive video displays in the lobby entertain children and parents, and elevators travel solely to floors housing pediatric units. The separate entrance was a priority for officials, who preferred that children and their families not go through the same entrance as adult patients.
The children’s hospital glass-front pavilion and atrium is the fourth project recently completed by Ajax for UF Health Shands on the University of Florida campus. These include the $7.32 million UF Health Congenital Heart Center, a $1.45 million renovation of the Third Floor Women and Children’s Hospital Pre-Admit area and new $7.35 million Health Facilities Administration building and Generator facility.