For the past several years, University of Florida Health (UF Health) located in Gainesville, Florida USA, has been working toward consolidating paediatric services within the university medical centre. A planned renovation for the east entry atrium and building façade led the owners to realize it was time to establish a completely separate identity for the children’s hospital, which is, essentially, a hospital within a hospital on the UF Health campus.
According to Bradley S. Pollitt, AIA and vice president of facilities development at UF Health Shands Hospital, “The portal project is now rebranding the entrance to the building so that our smallest patients do not have to enter through the adult hospital.”
Understanding that a hospital can feel ominous to a child, the owners asked the architectural firm, Ponikvar and Associates, to take an approach to the renovation that was child-friendly, while at the same time created a separate identity for the children’s hospital that would differentiate it from other areas of the facility. According to Jack Ponikvar, vice president and principal architect at Ponikvar and Associates, “We were challenged to do something that was child-like without being childish.”
Months of reviewing design options and product research led the architecture firm and the construction management firm, Ajax Building Corporation, to consider a light and colourful alternative to the sombreness of the existing brick façade with architectural wire mesh.


image of hospital

Made from architectural grade T316 stainless steel, the HAVER & BOECKER woven wire mesh product provided options not available with other types of material. The colour selection allowed for a bright, multi-colour façade layered over the existing brick cladding, which would be appealing to young patients while also establishing a new identity for the building. Additionally, creating coloured facades with woven wire mesh presents a multitude of unique design options. The interaction of artificial light, daylight, transparency, luminosity and colour ensures the stylistic effects of the façade change continually. The painted stainless steel wire mesh is incredibly durable, weather-resistant and virtually maintenance free.

If you would like to read the full article on this colourful project, please contact the Editor in Chief Mrs Joanne McIntyre at

Universitiy of Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital

Ranked  in the top-50 pediatric hospitals in the country in a variety of specialties by US News & World Report, University of Florida physicians at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital provide the full spectrum of pediatric specialty services.

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