Sunday, March 20, 2011

Diaz-Simon Pediatric Clinic (1958)

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In Idea: the Shaping Force (1987), architect Charles Colbert described the two main ideas which led to the design of the Diaz-Simon Pediatric Clinic on Antonine near Touro Hospital.

'Children's vivid imaginations and their shallow thresholds of pain can make the doctor's office appear to be a dark torture chamber. The design objective of the Antonine Clinic (1958) was to lessen this instinctive fear and create an environment of bright and cheerful playfulness. The Antonine Pediatric Clinic was located upon an undersized lot that had only one real advantage, a large live oak tree. The tree became the most singular element in the overall design. The children's waiting room was located to seem to rest among its branches and was calculated to evoke the thrill of a real tree playhouse.'

Colbert received an Honor Award from the AIA in 1959 for the design. The clinic has been razed, but the tree remains.

[F. Stock; photo: Biographical Files, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Tulane University Libraries]

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