Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed May 2002)

Chief administrator: Gaguik Khachatourian, Area Manager, (206) 988-2713

Firm: Clark/Kjos Architects, (206) 652-0722

Design team: Bret Downing, Project Manager (Sellen Construction); Larry Humphreys, Principal (Bouillon, Inc.); Marjorie Lund, Principal (Lund and Everton); Ester Wilson, Principal (Design Works); Jim Seeks, Principal (Seeks Design Associates)

Photography: Benjamin Benschneider Photography

Total building area (GSF): 12,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $153.89

Total cost (excluding land): $1,846,690

Group Health’s decision to rebuild its flagship Downtown Medical Center accomplishes the following: expanding its market share to include professionals working downtown, reinvigorating its focus on providing a nurturing patient experi-ence, and reinventing the environment to enhance the caregiving process. The project manager, administration, department representatives, and design team met biweekly to develop goals and the program to achieve them, to reinvent processes, and to evolve the architectural solution together.

Group Health located this new clinic in the downtown shopping atrium of a high-rise office/retail complex, advancing their new retail market emphasis. To honor the patient experience, the clinic is designed to evoke the feeling of a day spa.

The focal point is the reception/waiting area, designed to nurture and comfort. A great curved, maple-paneled wall invites patrons in. A diagonal wall organizes traffic for check-in, pharmacy, and entry to patient care areas. Therapeutic design elements include a water/rock sculpture, soft lighting, natural wood, deep colors, hospitality furnishings, and tree and sky views. Technology featured includes Web-access terminals to be used while waiting. For efficiency, supervision, customer service, exam rooms, radiology, and the lab surround a staff work center. Patient treatment rooms have patient psychology in mind, using rich color, wood accents, and thoughtfully employed lighting. Exam rooms are standardized for provider efficiency.

Future adaptability strategies include using reconfigurable office system furniture in staff and provider areas and providing for future exam rooms, accounting for the ultimate obsolescence of paper medical records. The clinic floor, built over a former theater’s sloped seating area, accommodates plumbing in the interstitial space.