Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department



In the past three and one half decades, a significant amount of research findings has indicated that children, particularyly those under the age of five years, suffer ill effects from the experience of hospitalization - ill effects in the form of emotional trauma as a result of separation from parents; of threatening, institutional environments; and of lack of attention to social, emotional, developmental, and situational needs. In order to promote the design of positive, humane, child-oriented, and therapeutic hospital environments for children, needs of a five major age groups - infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age and adolescents - are identified. From those needs guidelines are developed for the design of such environments. Needs and resulting guidelines are developed for the design of such environments. Needs and resulting guidlelines are also identified and developed respectively for parents of hospitalized children in order to promote a family-centered atmosphere; and for child care staff in an effort to promote a more satisfying and effective work environment. Such programmatic considerations as unit size, location, unit configuration, distribution of room, and individual patient room design are included with attention also given to safety, isolation, and special needs of handicapped children. The support services for the children's unit are planned with flexibility and versatility in mind, utilizing the concept of multi-pupose spaces such as play-activity-dining spaces and conference classroom spaces. In addition to the physical design of the unit sensory stimulation needs are emphasized with atteention to such interior design factors as color, wall coverings, floor coverings, ceiling treatments, drapes and furnishings of both adult and child scale. One architectural solution to a therapeutic hospital environment for children is offered to the reader.