Level 12, the top floor of our new hospital, will be known as the Rooftop. A purple hot air balloon icon will help guide patients, families, visitors, and staff to this welcoming public space. Just as a hot air balloon rises into the sky offering breathtaking views, so does our new hospital. The highest occupiable point in Johnson County, the Rooftop will offer a unique perspective of Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, and the surrounding area.

The Rooftop has been designed as a calm oasis—a place where patients, families, visitors, and employees can unwind and reflect. Comfortable furniture, colorful carpeting, and well-tended gardens will work together to create a soothing atmosphere away from patient floors. Plentiful natural light will fill the hallway and other spaces. Patterns in the carpeting will mimic the designs in the terrazzo floor on Level 1; the twisting patterns will appeal to both children and adults.

Level 12’s Meditation Room will offer a place for family members to think, pray, and reflect. Open 24 hours a day, this peaceful space will support the spiritual needs of people of all faiths. Families also will be able to use the Meditation Room near Elevator B in University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Seating in the Meditation Room on Level 12 will include chairs that can be rearranged easily. Upholstered benches will offer additional seating and space for storing personal belongings. A striking work of art will hang in the back of the Meditation Room. Painted on layers of glass, the piece also will be visible from the hallway on Level 12. Titled “Lift Your Spirits,” it measures 8 feet wide and more than 8 feet tall. Designed by artist Bebe Keith of Lanesboro, Minnesota, the piece will depict paintings of birch trees against a vivid blue sky.

Two healing gardens will bring nature to the Rooftop, a design element patients and families emphasized as we partnered with them to plan our new hospital. The North Healing Garden will be surrounded on three sides by a seating alcove and two adjacent conference rooms. Visitors to the Rooftop will be able to stroll through the tranquil Winegard Family Outdoor Healing Garden and sit outside when the weather is inviting. Evidence suggests that the soothing sight of plants and other natural elements can help reduce stress during a difficult time.

Indoor seating alcoves for both gardens will feature furniture suitable for children and adults. People of all ages will enjoy the high-backed “egg” chairs, which give a feeling of privacy to those who sit in them. The chair’s name comes from its curved lines and the way it seems to shelter those who sit in it. In the center of the alcoves will be Beach Stones children’s furniture. This whimsical furniture is as fun to use as it is to look at.

In the hallway on Level 12, families will discover more artwork created by Keith. “Kaleidoscopes” consists of 22 pieces of art—all hexagons in various sizes. The pieces are aptly named. These stained glass mosaics resemble the intricate patterns people see when looking through a kaleidoscope.

The Vista Room will be located at the northwest corner of the Rooftop. Open to the public during normal business hours, it will be a great space from which to take in views of the Iowa City/Coralville area.

The spacious Press Box will be located at the Rooftop’s west end. The Press Box will be a special place reserved for pediatric patients and their families to enjoy activities planned and hosted by our child life team. For example, on football game days, patients and their families may experience the excitement of Hawkeye football festivities without leaving the hospital. The action on the field, the marching band, and the cheering crowd will all be in plain view through the Press Box’s large windows and/or the jumbo TV. Swivel chairs will make it easy to watch the game and chat with friends.

When the Hawkeyes aren’t playing at home, the Press Box will be used for other special programmable events, such as holiday and birthday celebrations that will help create special memories for children and their families. The adjacent Iowa Touchdowns for Kids Press Box Café will not only help support Press Box events, but also will host scheduled patient activities, such as cookie baking or cooking classes for children with our hospital’s chef.

Beyond its public spaces, the Rooftop will have another important role. It houses large air handling units for the entire building. You won’t know it when you’re enjoying Level 12 because the equipment was designed to be ultra-quiet. It will be hidden, too. Most of it will be housed in the center of the floor in the same area where offstage (staff) areas will be located on inpatient floors.   

Getting there: Visitors can take Public Elevators 1 and 2 to Level 12; look for the purple hot air balloon icon. Service Elevator 3 and Patient Elevator 3, both located in offstage (staff) areas, will also serve this floor. The Meditation Room will be open 24 hours a day; other areas will be open during normal business hours.