When Raydient Places + Properties, a residential developer, envisioned the mixed-use Wildlight community in Nassau County, Fla., they imagined a health-making place that supported healthier lifestyles and a proactive approach to health and wellness. UF Health was selected by the developer at the outset of the project to drive health and wellness programming, and provide medical and wellness services. The partnership’s goal is to improve quality of life and, through convenient access to early diagnostics, address health issues before acute care services are required.

The duo called on Gresham Smith to design the first of several UF Health facilities at Wildlight, an Ambulatory Care Center (ACC), which introduces leading-edge, holistic medical services to the region and provides clinical services directly aligned with community need. Services range from pediatrics to obstetrics and primary care, with a particular focus on pediatric dentistry and behavioral health, two severely undersupplied service lines in the growing county.

The ACC, which opened in December 2019, and the UF Health Wellness Center, which is under construction, connect to a 17 mile stretch of trails and will include site amenities like bike repair stations, dog drinking fountains and outdoor seating to encourage physical activity. The developer coined the term “Florida Low Country” to describe an architectural style that embraces the North Florida lifestyle and connects to local nature, history and community. Working within these guidelines, the architecture of the ACC expresses the community’s character and culture while embodying UF Health and the developer’s goals.

Project category: New construction

Chief administrator: Dr. Leon Haley, M.H.S.A., CPE, FACEP, CEO, UF Health Jacksonville

Firm: Gresham Smith, www.greshamsmith.com

Design team: Gresham Smith (architecture and interior design); GAI Consultants (civil engineering and landscape architecture); McVeigh & Magnum Engineering (MEP and structural engineering); Brasfield & Gorrie (general contractor)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 43,000

Completed: November 2019