The UCLA Outpatient Surgery and Medical Building—a hybrid academic and community outpatient surgery, oncology treatment, and medical office facility—is a 50,000-square-foot facility designed by Michael W. Folonis Architects (Santa Monica, Calif.). The Modernist facility began seeing patients in early 2012. All design elements—from planning to materials—were guided by the concept that a more natural, and less clinical, environment promotes healing in patients and supports alert, productive behavior in doctors, staff, and student.

Taking advantage of climate and site conditions, the building features natural daylighting and ventilation. The building skin is composed of glass and smooth concrete; the materials were selected for their direct, clean presentation and functionality. Two building blocks are linked by an expansive atrium lobby, which serves as an orderly circulation core.  Along the façade, the variation in materials and horizontal accents—including layers of horizontal louvers and light shelves—breaks up the vertical massing.  Board-formed concrete walls at the first floor serve as a plinth, providing a contrast to the smooth, cast-in-place concrete walls of the upper floors.  The design is pending LEED Gold certification.

Outside healing gardens are positioned for both public and private use. The project team took every opportunity to bring sunlight deep into the building core, as well as natural planted elements. The central lobby is enclosed with a full-height, mullion-less glazing system and is covered in a fritted glass roof, allowing light to flood the central common area of the building.  Pocketed windows along the lobby walls bring light into adjacent offices.  The louvered fenestration and light shelf systems across the façade provide diffused light into private surgery preparation and recovery rooms. Skylights are used throughout to create additional daylight-infused waiting rooms.

An automated parking system reduced typical car-retrieval time from 15 minutes to 2 minutes. The new system stacks vehicles close together and eliminates drive aisles, ramps, stairs, and elevators. The subterranean parking volume is reduced by 50 percent compared to a conventional garage. Additionally, by reducing the garage footprint, the exterior plaza becomes a permeable surface. This results in an overall improvement in rainwater permeability and storm water runoff control. The parking system also improves energy efficiency by eliminating lighting and mechanical ventilation systems.