Shining the light forward for children in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA, USA
The Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care with its curving, colorful exterior is a stacked, undulating form.

Since its founding in 1855, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has transformed pediatric healthcare and saved countless lives. Located on Civic Center Boulevard, just across from the main hospital, the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care’s is CHOP’s innovative outpatient center, bringing specialty treatment and rehabilitation services to young patients. 

annual patient visits

Joyful and uplifting spirit promotes wellness

Stretching twelve stories high in exuberant colors, the center’s softly stacked forms cascade from the sky, inspiring young imaginations. The main lobby’s curved walking ramp sweeps up three levels with interactive spaces that invite exploration and discovery. A sprawling rooftop garden and abundant green space at ground level offer plenty of fresh air, places to play and gather, and quiet corners to pause and reflect.

Abundant green space in the Center’s three-acre plaza invites play and reflection.
“Depicting the playfulness of children helps reinforce the idea of a positive medical experience.” — Cesar Pelli, FAIA, RIBA, JIA
A color scheme study for the design. 
The building-wide theme “Children in Motion” promotes wellness and activity and enhances wayfinding for visitors.
An accessible ramp in the lobby connects to the bridge that links the new building to the North Campus across the street.

At the forefront of an evolving healthcare landscape

Welcoming and easy to navigate, light-filled spaces abound with connection
to the outdoors from everywhere within the building. Care is provided through groups of collaborating specialists that operate as “neighborhoods of care,” simplifying visits for patients and families. All on the same floor, a patient can visit an orthopedic surgeon, have x-rays, get casting, and receive physical therapy. The flexible design is adaptable for future changes in healthcare delivery and can be converted for office, research, or in-patient uses.

Light-filled waiting rooms for patients and families feature "Wait, Play, Learn" areas.
At the sixth level, a roof garden is used for patient rehabilitation.

More About the Project

Project Team

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: FKP Architects
  • Structural Engineer: Le Messurier
  • MEP: Bard, Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers, LLC
  • Landscape Architecture: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape

Project Information

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Client: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Size: 700,000 sq. ft. / 65,032 sq. m.
  • Height: 192 ft. / 56 m.
  • Completion: 2015
  • Certification: LEED Silver
  • Firm Role: Design Architect


  • 2016, Healthcare Best Project, ENR Mid-Atlantic Region
  • 2016, Excellence in Craftsmanship, General Building Contractors Association (GBCA)
  • 2017, The National Best of the Best Winner—Healthcare, Engineering News Record
  • 2017, Award of Merit, Healthcare Design Awards
  • Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO