Simon Family Tower Designed with “The World Around Riley” Theme

Riley 100 |


Riley at IU Health may be located in Indianapolis but come January, patients and their families will find a whole new world at Riley at IU Health. When Riley at IU Health opens the first phase of its new Simon Family Tower, an array of ecosystems will come to life.

Designed with a theme of "The World Around Riley," the Simon Family Tower has inpatient units decorated as tropical rainforests, beaches, oceans, forests and mountains - each with colors, textures, furniture and art to match.

The theme is a result of a study conducted early on in the project's design phase. Patients, families and staff were surveyed to help determine the look and feel of the Simon Family Tower. The findings emphasized the importance of control, connection and energy within the hospital experience.

"Based on the feedback we received, we worked to bring the nature, life and energy of the outside world into the new building," said Marilyn Cox, chief nursing officer, Riley at IU Health. "We chose ecosystems as our design because they have a timeless appeal and transcend age, but more importantly, they are engaging and energizing - helping to increase spirits, hope and relaxation."

"We didn’t want the Simon Family Tower to feel like a typical hospital; we wanted our patients to feel more positive energy and to be able to form a personal connection to this space," said Melanie Cline, activation director, Simon Family Tower and clinical director, Riley at IU Health. "The ecosystems provide a much needed journey and allow our patients and families an opportunity to escape from their illnesses."

The ecosystems are brought to life in the new space in large part through photographs. Part of Photos for Health™, staff, patients, families and photography enthusiasts were invited to submit their original photographs of animals and nature for display in the Simon Family Tower. Photos for Health™, a unique art initiative dedicated to health and well-being, was designed for Riley at IU Health's newest facilities.

Patients and families will begin their journey through the Simon Family Tower on January 27, 2011, when inpatient units on floors seven, eight and nine open. The 10-story, 675,000 square-foot project is designed to add capacity, increase efficiency and enhance patient satisfaction at Riley at IU Health.

Construction on the Simon Family Tower began in the summer of 2006. In November 2007, the Simon family announced a $40 million gift toward the completion of the project. Economic conditions temporarily halted the project in early 2009 and work re-started in early 2010. Construction is scheduled for completion in the winter of 2013.