Dining Car at Children’s Health - CODAworx

Dining Car at Children’s Health

Client: Children's Health

Location: Dallas, TX, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team


Ron Gordon


Children's Health in Dallas

Interior Designer

Kristina Warren

SBL Architecture, Inc.

Art Consultant

Jodi Fernandez

Skyline Art


An existing “Dining Car” theme in an underground hospital cafeteria of a children's hospital was developed into a lively and engaging environment that made reference to the Dallas-area’s notable landmarks along its light rail system by means of custom, original artwork and dynamic graphic designs.
The needs of a food service area called for materials that were durable and cleanable. Therefore, original works art were reprinted on wall-covering and wall-protection materials. The installation covered multiple walls, creating a total environment for guests, reconnecting them to their city and community.


The renovation of an underground cafeteria without natural light brought the environment into harmony with a comprehensive design approach being applied throughout a large medical campus and improved the environment for families and patients to eat and relax both day and night.
Artist Ron Gordon's original collage composition lent the space a unique, personal touch, with abundant, legible details in the paper collage affording opportunities for rich engagement, discovery, and “positive distraction” for hospital visitors. The collage composition stretched across walls, turned corners, and transitioned through several themes and colorways in response to the conditions of the space and the design intent. Therefore, the artist had to meet challenging composition and dimension requirements.
The artist incorporated landmark images from along each of the transit system’s four color-coded rail lines. These, along with a series of six additional graphic design illustrations, allow families to correlate different areas of the metroplex with Children’s facilities, an to contemplate the outdoors, recreations and activity. The wide reach of the transit system also reflects the hospital system’s expansion into suburban areas.


Artist Ron Gordon was commissioned to develop torn paper collages for two feature walls, one a stylized floor-to-ceiling map of Dallas’s rail system DART, the other an imaginative cityscape. Skyline Art delivered detailed specifications to the artist in terms of subject, dimensions, colorway, and desired details. Skyline Arts’ graphic design team provided the artist a template that guided the composition so that it met the needs of the space, the walls, doorways, and corners. The artist’s original compositions were created to be as large as could accommodate high-resolution scanning, to preserve as much detail as possible when it was magnified more than 100%. The digital files were then closely examined to enhance details, align color choices with design intent, and eliminate some material relics of the physical collage.
This unique collaboration between graphic design, paper collage art, and interior design created a new and welcome setting for the client and its guests. The human hand behind the artist’s collage and its rich detail, the clean presentation and careful layout of the graphic design, and the experience of the built environment as directed by interior design, all combined to transform the space.