Children’s Mercy gift shop receives AIA KS ‘Excellence in Interior Architecture’ Merit Award.

We’re proud and excited to share that the gift shop at Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Adele Hall Campus in downtown Kansas City recently received the Excellence in Interior Architecture Merit Award from AIA Kansas!

BRR partnered with HMN Architects and served as the design architect for this project. When envisioning a design for the newly-relocated gift shop, our team faced a unique challenge: how do you design a retail space within a hospital – a place that is often intimidating and uncomfortable – one that is playful and inviting?

The goal was to design a place that provided a physical and mental escape for customers – a space that visitors can interact with, and feel immersed in an experience and environment. “Given the shop’s location in a hospital, we wanted to create a solution that allowed a child’s imagination to wander, and would also engage the interest of older patrons,” said Project Designer Jon Gripka.

The design solution employed is an undulating fin ceiling with coordinated LED lighting that gives the space movement and energy. A suspended system comprised of more than 60 individually-illuminated fins, the ceiling’s dynamic shape and playful interaction with lighting allows visitors to perceive the space however they choose.


“Working with limited floor to ceiling height made incorporating a design with such a unique ceiling an exceptional undertaking,” said Gripka. “We were able to compress the ceiling without sacrificing the integrity of the ceiling design, and worked closely with our consultants from the beginning of schematic design to get their commitment to our proposed solution, and consensus on the necessary steps to ensure the ceiling’s success while still complying with code and hospital regulations.”

Comments from jury members for this specific awards program included the following:

“The outcome here carries a much-appreciated ‘wow’ factor – very befitting a children’s hospital gift shop.”

“We were sympathetic to the tough context of a children’s hospital and saw this project as offering playful relief from the otherwise grim experience of having a child in the hospital. We liked that the color and mood could be changed, allowing the ceiling to refresh itself if there were multiple visits to the shop over a period of time.”

“A nice respite for children and their families, which provides a memorable moment in an otherwise typical and sterile hospital experience.”

Congratulations to our project partners and team members on a successful and impactful design!

Production Architect: HMN Architects
Structural Engineer: Bob D. Campbell
MEP Engineer: Henderson Engineers
Fabrication: Dimensional Innovations
AV Design: Mission Electronics
Contractor: Lytle Construction

More photos of the gift shop can be found here. To view other projects and winners in this year’s AIA Kansas Design Awards, visit here.