A 65,000-square-foot health center will be the anchor of downtown Brooklyn, N.Y.’s 620 Fulton, a new mixed-use building in an up-and-coming cultural district of New York.

In planning and designing the health center, the client emphasized a highly collaborative, team-based approach to medical care that will focus equally on wellness and treatment of illness. The 12-story building is a new investment for The New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of New York City Inc. Health Benefits Fund, Health Center Inc. (HCI). It is on track to break ground in spring 2015 and open in fall 2016.

Architecture firm Francis Cauffman partnered with HCI to prioritize a welcoming, patient-centered environment with excellent customer service. HCI is the largest organization in the city that directly provides health benefits to its union membership, retirees, and dependents.

HCI’s goal is to treat 85 percent of patients in under an hour, including prescriptions pick-up at the on-site pharmacy.

To expedite the diagnosis and treatment process, the health center won’t have physicians’ offices or waiting areas; patients will check in at kiosks and go directly to an exam room, bypassing the traditional waiting room. Physicians’ areas will be located at the center of the floors, with exam rooms clustered around them. When a patient arrives, the physicians and nurses who make up that patient’s personal care team will meet the patient in the exam room and provide individual treatment.

620 Fulton replaces a smaller building currently occupied by HCI in Brooklyn. In the new, larger facility, the health center will have multifunction spaces for healthy living workshops and lifestyle classes for disease prevention. HCI selected the site for its central location that would be convenient for its members. Last year, HCI served 50,000 unique users and delivered 700,000 annual visits.

The ground floor and remaining six office floors of 620 Fulton will include 70,000 square feet of commercial space, retail space, a restaurant, and public amenities for patients, office workers, and local residents. HCI hopes to attract local businesses and start-ups. There will be terraces at the sixth-floor setback and on the roof, as well as outdoor space that connects to the district’s existing open space network and ground-level retail and dining facilities. The team is targeting a LEED Silver certification.

In addition to providing health services, 620 Fulton has a distinctive teardrop form that follows its triangular urban site. Fritted glass and 10-inch projecting metal fins provide privacy for patients inside and reduce heat gain. The building’s sculptural form will have a constantly evolving look and feel that enlivens the urban environment.

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