200 Hawkins Drive Iowa City, IA 52242 United States
When you enter the main lobby of our new children’s hospital, you’ll walk into a space like no other. It’s a playful place to discover and explore. A space for relaxing and passing time. A spot to get a drink or a bite to eat. Filled with natural light, the two-story lobby features comfortable seating, colorful artwork, and convenient amenities. It will be known as the Gerdin Family Lobby in recognition of the Gerdin family’s generous contributions to the children’s hospital.
The lobby will include spaces for family respite, including public restrooms and space dedicated to meeting family and visitor lactation, feeding, and caregiving needs. Comfortable seating throughout the lobby will provide families and visitors a place to gather and relax. A distinctive S-shaped sofa will accent the lobby’s north side, not far from a children’s theater. The lobby also will offer several groupings of chairs and small tables. Look for the distinctive egg-shaped chairs. They are fun, comfy, and cozy.
Level 1 Amenities
Besides being a place for exploration and discovery, the lobby will offer many amenities:
Level 1 at a Glance:
Several towering art pieces are among the first things patients, families, and visitors will notice in the lobby. Artist Larry Kirkland created six vertical art pieces, known as wind vanes, which will be scattered throughout the space.
Each wind vane will display the names of two Iowa communities. The featured cities are: Boone, Corydon, Des Moines, Keokuk, Le Mars, Maquoketa, Mason City, New Albin, Red Oak, Sabula, Story City, and Westfield. Graphics decorating the wind vanes will depict each town’s heritage, geography, and attractions. Together they reflect the rich tradition and history of the state of Iowa.
The “Blooming Wall,” also created by Larry Kirkland, is a three-dimensional installation consisting of triangular-shaped panels that give the effect of a colorful vertical blind. Mounted along the lobby’s interior wall, the panels are white and varying shades of blue, green, and purple. The shades of the panels increase gradually in intensity, or “bloom,” before fading to white. Then the cycle repeats itself. Patients, families, visitors, staff, and volunteers will enjoy viewing the wall from different angles and distances.
Playful artwork inside six vitrines, or glass-covered window displays, will be enjoyed by all who visit the Gerdin Family Lobby. Each of the displays will be about 7 feet tall and will showcase a different and timeless theme.
Inside the alphabet-themed vitrine, families will notice small wooden alphabet blocks mounted on thin bases made of Corian®. Also mounted on the backdrops are miniature items whose names begin with the same letter displayed on the nearby alphabet block. Be sure to reflect on the “M” display.
Another vitrine will feature crosswords crafted from Scrabble® tiles and alphabet blocks. Some of the featured words tie back to the Iowa theme and include names of places from around our state. A game trail in another vitrine will highlight oval sections cut from popular game boards. Various pieces and dice from the corresponding games weave a path throughout the display.
The playfulness in the lobby doesn’t stop with the walls or the artwork. The terrazzo floor will incorporate geometric shapes that resemble patterns found in a kaleidoscope. Children and adults alike can explore by following the outlines of the shapes as they walk through the lobby.
For your safety, all playgrounds on the UI Health Care campus and at UI Health Care facilities are closed until further notice.
Spaces to relax and interact with nature are available throughout the children’s hospital campus. Families, visitors, and staff will enjoy strolling through the Pappajohn Plaza located on the north side of the building. The Hy-Vee Outdoor Plaza is perfect for a meal or simply for enjoying the fresh air. The playground, located on the south side of the building, is accessible for children of all ages and abilities. Families will be able to enjoy the playground from dawn until 8 p.m. The existing playground, located between the John Colloton Pavilion (JCP) and the John Pappajohn Pavilion (JPP) at UI Hospitals & Clinics, will remain open, as will the playground near the Center for Disabilities and Development.
Getting there: Patients, families, and visitors entering the children’s hospital through the main entrance will be in the Gerdin Family Lobby (Level 1). The lobby may be reached by taking Parking Ramp 2 South elevators to the level marked “G” on the elevator buttons. The lobby will also be accessible via the connector from the John Pappajohn Pavilion (JPP) at UI Hospitals & Clinics.