HLB Miami partnered with Perkins + Will Miami to reinvigorate the patient, family and caregiver experience at the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Lighting design plays an important role in this project as it helps create a sense of comfort, unity and healing. Check out our one-on-one with Miami Senior Associate, Simi Veit, and her passion for this project.
What made this project or experience special to you and your team?
This was one of the first projects finished in the Miami Office and our first project with Perkins + Will Miami. We now have a great working relationship with them and are moving onto our 3rd project together!
Why is lighting design an important element in hospitals?
A hospital is a stressful place where unfortunately some people have to spend a lot of time. It’s not just about the doctors and tasks, but also about the comfort of patients and families. The lighting for the Niklaus Children’s Hospital was designed to be playful for the children, soothing for the parents waiting for their child or child’s diagnosis, warm and welcoming for all visitors, and flexible for events and gatherings.
Describe a design challenge and how it was achieved.
The first design challenge was to ensure the light was balanced as you walked through the varying density of downlights. The natural wonders of Miami was the inspiration for the whole space, so rather than a grid of downlights we had a “starry-night” pattern that would get dense in certain areas and more spread out in others. We had to zone the clusters separately so we could match illuminance of the more dense areas with the less dense areas. The second design challenge was to make the concept of a canopy of leaves into an elegant reality. The team worked with Eventscape to create custom pendants that resembled petals. Our design team had to make sure the color temperature matched the other lighting that it wasn’t too overpowering, and provided a soft glow on the ceiling.
Were there budget constraints and how were they met?
We established as baseline budget, selected fixtures that would fit in that budget, and carefully VE’d anything that was “over the top”
Was there something unique about the design process or method of delivery?
Yes, an extremely fast schedule. We started designing October 2015 and the project was finishing construction by summer of 2016.
Were there controls, custom fixtures, commissioning, or daylighting scope for HLB?
We designed a basic pre-set dimming controls system for space use flexibility since they would be having parties, performances, and the opportunity for daylight harvesting. All ring pendants are custom fixtures created by Eventscape. Since nature was the theme, the original inspirations for the lights were petals, so we worked with the custom manufacturer to provide the right light.
What was your favorite aspect of involvement in the project?
My favorite part of the project, was being hands on and bringing working samples of all the fixtures to P+W’s office and doing a mock-up with all their materials to make visual assessments to determine color temperatures and mounting details.
What were the project’s goals regarding lighting?
The goal of the lighting was to allude to our theme and inspiration – nature, but also provide a solution that was fun and energy effective.
How were these goals achieved?
The downlights were positioned randomly in clusters, similar to the night sky. And rather than just having round pendants, we elongated them and position them to look like a lei of petals. Lastly, we designed the control system to have daylight responsiveness and dim the lights when there was plenty of available daylight.
Are there any best practices that we have learned through this project?
Attention to detail is critical! It’s important to always ask about finish reflectiveness. Since we had done mock-ups with all the lights and materials, we were able to modify the mounting detail for the tape light below the perimeter wood walls to avoid imaging in the reflectance of the shiny floor.
“Mock-ups are very effective and make it so there are little surprises for the way lighting solutions work within spaces.”