Document Type



Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor's Name

Mario Valbuena

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Jose Camero

Third Advisor's Name

Kevin Smith

Date of Defense



The objective of this thesis was to investigate the effects of the built environment on the outcome of young patients. This investigation included recent innovations in children's hospitals that integrated both medical and architectural case studies as part of their design issues. In addition, the intervention responded to man-made conditions and natural elements of the site. The thesis project, a Children's Rehabilitation Hospital, is located at 1500 N.W. River Drive in Miami, Florida.

The thesis intervention emerged from a site analysis that focused on the shifting of the urban grid, the variation in scale of the immediate context and the visual-physical connection to the river's edge. Furthermore, it addressed the issues of overnight accommodation for patient's families, as well as sound control through the use of specific materials in space enclosures and open courtyards. The key to the success of this intervention lies in the special attention given to the integration between nature and the built environment. Issues such as the incorporation of nature within a building through the use of vistas and the exploitation of natural light through windows and skylights, were pivotal in the creation of a pleasant environment for visitors, employees and young patients.




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