SEATTLE, Wash. — The Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns, recently completed by the Seattle office of Perkins+Will, exemplifies the concept of transformative design. The project’s 5,800-square-foot size belies its importance. Located at Swedish Medical Center’s First Hill Campus, the Lytle Center provides a new south entrance to the medical center and a welcoming new home for comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum care and services with a touch of dramatic design. A grand fireplace anchors the “living room” area, surrounded by comfortable furniture and 20-foot tall windows that flood the space with natural light.
“We designed the Lytle Center to be as simple and supportive as the idea behind it,” said Brad Hinthorne, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, lead principal, Perkins+Will. “This is a ‘one-stop shop’ for soon-to-be and new parents, along with their family and friends, at a really exciting point in their lives.”
The Lytle Center is divided by the medical center’s main hallway. On one side is the “clinic” for pregnancy and postpartum checkups, well-baby visits and other clinical needs. Adjacently, the “center” includes a living room, classroom space, baby-care station, breastfeeding consultation rooms, retail for new mothers and babies and an outdoor play space for toddlers. The project was originally intended to be an interior renovation, but the scope expanded during the planning process to include extending the outer skin of the building by 20 feet, making life-safety modifications to the NICU on the floor above, and removing a section of the exterior wall to open the space up and allow for some of the dramatic touches – such as the large fireplace – that make it so inviting. Though the project became more complex than originally planned, it was finished within the original time frame.
“Swedish offers top care for pregnancies and childbirth but we recognized we could do even better by putting all of our pregnancy and post-partum services in one easily accessible place,” said Theresa Demeter, director of women & infants service line development, Swedish Medical Center. “The Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns provides a central location for pre- and post-partum clinical visits and consultations and provides much-needed guidance to new and expecting parents.”
Funded entirely by gifts from the community, the Lytle Center was the 2013 Fund-A-Need project at the Swedish Medical Center’s annual gala, with generous leadership gifts from Chuck & Karen Lytle and Charles & Lisa Simonyi. Brad Hinthorne, associate principal Perkins+Will, was the lead principal on the project; Erik Mott, associate principal, Perkins+Will, was the design principal; Molly Baker, LEED green associate, Perkins+Will, was the project architect; Fenita Long, AIA, was the job captain and Christiane Pein, founder of LairDesign, collaborated on the interior design and furniture selection.