El Paso Children's Hospital 

Color and Culture - The Desert in Bloom 

El Paso Children’s Hospital’s new patient tower offers 90 acute care and 50 neonatal intensive care beds and has dedicated Surgery, Imaging, Emergency, Laboratory, and Pharmacy departments. 

CAMA worked closely with the Planning and Development committees, kicking off the process with several site visits to reputable children’s hospitals. 

The tours informed the team of best practices and were followed by a series of visioning workshops engaging nurses, physicians, pediatric patients, and their families. These interactive sessions helped the design team more fully understand the diverse mix of cultures that blend to make this border community unique. 

The resulting material palette draws inspiration from this rich cultural heritage as well as from the extreme color spectrum of the surrounding landscape, from the vast brownness of the high desert to the spectacular sunsets and vibrant spring blooms. 

While the final design addresses a number of outcomes influenced by research, a primary goal was to create whimsical spaces to delight the senses and thus reduce anxiety. 

This approach is exemplified in the design of the patient room where a custom footwall with a canopy of illuminated stars inspires sweet dreams while simultaneously acting as an immersive focal point for diversion. 

With the University Medical Center Foundation, CAMA also developed a hospital-wide, evidence-based art program that distracts patients and their families from illness by showcasing regional artists whose work celebrates this unique, dynamic, and culturally-rich locale.


SCOPE: Visioning, Evidence-Based Design, Interior Design, Art Consulting

SIZE: 225,000 SF

BUDGET: $150 million

PARTNERS: KMD Architects, Moore Nordell Kroeger (Architect), Robins & Morton (Construction Manager) 

PHOTO CREDIT: Blakely Photography