A Tree House in a Hospital

A state-of-the-art, family-centered patient care facility caters to children with its design

Can you imagine having a tree house in a hospital? A 205,000-square-foot vertical expansion of the SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, NY, provided that opportunity.


The Pike Company took on this expansion project, which takes the hospital from 6 to 12 stories. It created a state-of-the-art, family-centered patient care facility. Patients and families ride in a glass-enclosed express elevator to the Pediatric Center (known as the “Tree House”).


The Tree House is an out-of-this-world annex to the hospital’s East Tower, featuring imaginative spaces for kids and families. From the bright and friendly crayon colors to the fiber-optic art on the walls, it’s clear that this space was designed for the patients.


The Tree House features:

  • A café.
  • A performance center with a theater-sized screen and surround sound (with capability to broadcast to patient rooms).
  • A sun-drenched solarium with a labyrinth design for focused walking or wheeling.
  • An interfaith chapel with a glass sculpture emulating water and light.
  • A fresh-air rooftop garden/terrace. 
  • A gallery with rotating exhibits.


Each patient room is also equipped with a 32-inch flat screen TV with a PlayStation.