The Austin Chronicle

A Healing Place

By Katherine Gregor, June 27, 2007, 1:25pm, Newsdesk

Visitors at the Dell Children's Medical Center grand opening gaze out at a central open-air Healing Garden. The new children's hospital officially opens for care on Saturday. So remember not to take little Jim Bob with his broken arm to the old one – drive to the emergency room at Mueller off I-35 (51st Street exit) instead.

Back to that Healing Garden – for wellness and all, Dell Children’s is supplementing the pharmaceuticals with views of native Texas plants. The truly wow-kazow beautiful new hospital was designed by Seton and its architect, Karlsberger, to lift the spirits of sick children and their families. In addition to state-of-the-art medical care and facilities, the new children's hospital features sustainable building materials that include native sandstone and limestone. With its ample natural light and views, the hospital is distinguished by a handsome interior design, oodles of original artwork in nearly every space (selected by my mom, no less), landscaped courtyards, loads of family-friendly features, and even a swank eatery. Every little amenity counts for children and parents who must endure the long-term stresses of hospitalization for illnesses like pediatric cancer or brain surgery.

Setting a high green-building standard for the surrounding Mueller, Dell Children’s is due to become the first LEED Platinum hospital in the U.S. – the top status awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. Cool like Austin!

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