Smile-A-Mile, Alabama’s program for children with cancer, had outgrown their space and approached us to help build a home to host their families outside the hospital.
Hence, Smile-A-Mile Place was born out of an old warehouse in the Parkside District just a few blocks from Children’s of Alabama. In addition to 2,500 square feet of office space for the staff, the project includes 6,000 square feet of event space for interacting with the children. The spaces recall beloved moments the children spend together on Lake Martin and provide them year-round and convenient access to the hospital. The families can gather in a circle in the Community Room with the dramatic backdrop of a sky-lit custom metal stair known as “The Mountain”. Along with rooms for arts & crafts and exercising, a small theater built of reclaimed wood hosts talent shows. For quieter moments, there are upholstered reading nooks and a starry-lit meditation room for private contemplation. Smile-A-Mile Place won the Merit Award from the Alabama Chapter of the AIA in 2018.