American Family Children’s Hospital


The design team’s primary goal was to provide cheerful, uplifting imagery for children and their families to enjoy when they visited the hospital for treatments or therapies. The design team needed their new mural to resemble the hospital’s existing artwork, which incorporated calming color palettes and familiar scenes from Wisconsin. The UW Health maintenance team needed a mural that would protect the wall and stand up to frequent foot traffic, constant use and impact. The mural also needed to be securely fastened to avoid bumping it out of place. The ideal product solution would be customizable, long-lasting, durable, and easy to clean. Construction Specialties’ (CS) Acrovyn by Design, known for its relentless longevity and resistance to dirt and grime, was selected for the corridor wall’s new “Skies Over Wisconsin” themed mural. Acrovyn by Design frequently stands up to the harshest, busiest environments, and can be customized to include original artwork designs, logos and photography. The design stays perfectly intact because it is reverse-printed behind impact-resistant, PVC-free Acrovyn sheet.



Acrovyn by Design’s customization capabilities and maintenance benefits made it the ideal choice for this busy location. The artwork behind the Acrovyn sheet was created by UW Health design interns to fit the “Skies Over Wisconsin” theme with bright colors and pleasant rural scenery, including cattle, tractors, airplanes and hot air balloons. The installation encompasses the entire wall – floor to ceiling – with vertical, barely-there seams between panels. “This is wall protection that can be used in a high-traffic, sterile environment and still be fun, beautiful and functional,” said Ardis Hutchins, interior architect for UW Health System. “Too often, the back-of-house areas don’t have artwork because it’s usually not practical. With the new mural, we can have beautiful artwork that is still functional and engages patients in a formerly unused part of the facility.” Laura Ahola, nursing manager at American Family Children’s Hospital, commented that the mural motivates children to get back on their feet and walk the corridor after surgery, which positively impacts their healing process as movement is an important step to recovery.


“Movement affects everything in the body’s recovery process. Having the children walk to and from the mural has been proven to improve their morale and reduce their post-op stay,” added Ahola. “There are a lot of exciting details at their eye level.” While artistic customization was a strong selling point, Acrovyn by Design was also selected for its maintenance properties, longevity, and cleanable surface materials, which were attractive to the hospital’s personnel. “We’ve been really impressed by Acrovyn by Design’s ability to absorb impact and stand up to damage. The walls take abuse from x-ray carts and gurneys every day and haven’t incurred so much as a scratch,” commented Ron Reschke, UW Health’s senior maintenance mechanic. The Acrovyn by Design installation has already been a welcome addition to American Family Children’s Hospital. This long-lasting artwork will protect the walls for years to come while providing a vibrant greeting to patients and families.

Project: American Family Children’s Hospital

Location: Madison, WI

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American Family Children’s Hospital is a comprehensive pediatric medical and surgical center and a nationally recognized teaching hospital within the University of Wisconsin (UW) Health System. This medical center includes locally inspired artwork on every floor to create soothing environments for patients and visitors. The seventh floor’s back-of-house corridor included a blank wall that experienced a large amount of daily traffic from patients, family, staff and machinery traveling to and from the elevators. The UW Health design team identified this blank canvas as an opportunity to incorporate a new mural.


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