Designed for diagnosing and treating children with autism spectrum, attention deficit and other complex developmental disorders, the new three-story institute is one of the first such facilities in the nation. The main goal for the “treehouse” themed design is to create a leading-edge healthcare campus at which children feel comfortable enough to imagine, explore and interact with nature.

The freestanding specialty pediatric outpatient center is inspired by the surrounding heavily wooded site. Oriented at a 75-degree angle to limit sun exposure, the building includes a three-story lobby designed on axis with a 40′ oak tree located at the base of the site. Throughout the building, the use of wood, stone materials and key architectural features encourage connection to the natural landscape and bring the outside inside.

The use of exterior portal elements mimic the holes in the floor or roof of a treehouse, while interior skylights also incorporate similar portal elements. Window panes, installed at varying heights, allow children to peer into the lobby from clinic spaces.