Design officials learned that you don’t have to sacrifice design for function at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children. Located in Honolulu, the center is Hawaii’s only children’s hospital and includes the state’s only 24-hour pediatric emergency room, pediatric intensive care unit and adolescent unit. Having gone through vinyl tile, carpet and VCT in the busy space, the hospital recently decided to make nora® flooring the standard for surface materials going forward.

Kapi’olani Medical Center Standard

“They like that the product is sustainably serviceable, while also allowing flexibility in design. The flooring went through an extensive evaluation process via environmental services, infection control and maintenance to be accepted as a standard,” says Holly Boling Ruiz, senior designer at Philpotts Interiors.

Kapi’olani Medical Center Standard 2

Aside from durability at the 24/7 operation, Kapi’olani found the design options made available by nora perfectly aligned with their goal to create a patient-friendly environment. “The floor is very bright and vibrant, not muddied or grayed down. We are so excited to use this product because of the clear intensity and range of color selections. Because of these two elements, we had zero limitations in our design,” says Boling Ruiz.

The flooring is utilized to not only stand up to the heaviest foot-traffic area of the hospital, but to provide a way-finding tool to lead patients to hospital destinations. Says Boling Ruiz, “Because it’s a long, narrow corridor, we wanted to use a floor pattern to expand the corridor so it doesn’t feel so long. We used a very organic spiral curve shape that looks like a fern, native to Hawaii, unfurling. We also used inlays of birds, butterflies and ladybugs as way-finding clues. We always want to have a sense of place.”

To learn more, read our project brief about Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children.