Chef's Playground

Boston Children's Hospital
Completed: 2015
Boston, MA

As one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the country, Boston Children’s Hospital sees a high volume of patients along with their families and friends on a daily basis.  The new food court, now connected to the main lobby through recent renovations, becomes a vital part of the Boston Children’s Hospital experience by functioning as a central hub of day-to-day activity.  

Isgenuity’s design of the 11,000 SF food court was inspired by flowing organic forms, carving out zones of seating while delineating important paths through the space.  The concept of a quiet canvas with splashes of color assists in wayfinding while adding a sense of playfulness that allows children and adults to explore their imagination. The diverse seating environment, which includes a children’s activity area, family seating, and bar seating with built-in technology, allows for varying zones of privacy throughout the space.  

The renovation extends into the servery, transforming the cafeteria into a “fresh” inspired food court that includes local and national brands. It will also feature Boston Children’s Hospital’s signature brand, “Chef’s Playground,” founded on a vision of preventive health with the goal of educating children about nutrition and food preparation in an interactive manner.  The servery has also been designed with flexibility in mind; the same space that serves lunch will also host multiple events, including “Parents’ Night Out,” at which celebrity chefs will cultivate a one-of-a-kind dining experience for families of Boston Children’s Hospital patients.

During the design phase, Isgenuity worked closely with the BCH team, construction manager and others to execute an uncharacteristically well-coordinated project prior to the issuance of construction documents.  By setting an overall goal for the project, the team utilized Lean tools and thinking in order to weigh design options and coordinate all systems with the most efficient methods and configurations.  Building information modeling and full-size mockups have played a key part in realizing the goals and desires of the hospital, allowing the entire team to fully comprehend the challenges, to contribute directly towards finding the best possible solutions, and ultimately to bring about the success of the project.