Move over elementary school plays about the Gettysburg Address, there’s a new crowning achievement in stagecraft coming to town. You may not think of stage plays when you think of hospitals, but that’s exactly what the brilliant architecty people did when designing the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Taking inspiration from stage performances and a certain famous theme park in Florida my parents promised me we’d go to if I got straight As this quarter, the hospital uses the concept of “on-stage” and “off-stage areas” to create a much more pleasant experience for children, families, and easily confused news reporters.
Off-stage areas are hidden from public view. That’s where all the behind-the-scenes action goes on. Care teams can move children privately, food can be delivered quickly, and staff areas and equipment can be kept out of the way. On-stage areas are those that are open to the public, including lounges, play spaces and despite the name, do not require visitors to burst into Shakespearean monologues or belt out what would surely be wonderful renditions of “Let It Go.”
The modern layout is sure to make Iowa’s only nationally ranked children’s hospital a place where kids and their families can get the best care around in a more relaxing atmosphere. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice my lines for my audition as Hospital Visitor #3.