Just outside of our nation’s capital and a short drive away from Baltimore, Maryland, Prince George’s County is a consistently growing suburb in need of better access to healthcare services. When demand was exceeding that of Kaiser Permanente’s main facility in the community, they decided to construct a new multi-specialty medical center that would decrease travel times and deliver high-quality medical care to their members.
Located in Bowie, Maryland, the Gresham Smith-designed multi-specialty medical office building provides primary care, allergy, behavioral health, imaging, laboratory, OBGYN and pharmacy services and will be an asset to the community for decades to come.
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Community ConnectivityKaiser Permanente chose the site for a particular reason—they knew it would be vital to the growth of the Bowie community. To make the medical center a fundamental part of the neighborhood, the local park and shopping area are designed to be an integral component of the overall site. Additionally, the facility provides a community plaza and courtyard for social events like farmer’s markets.
Community Tested, Community ApprovedOur designers worked closely with the local homeowner’s association to understand their concerns and preferences. To honor the context of the surrounding community, the facility’s design incorporates traditional residential characteristics, such as punched windows and gabled roof lines, as well as large expanses of glazing to highlight key design elements, like the community room on the front corner and the monumental stair on the side of the building. In the end, the new space maintains consistency, does not disrupt traffic patterns or add vehicular congestion, and promotes better health and wellness for the Bowie community.
Bold Color BlockingSeeking to create a bright, warm and inviting space, our team activated Kaiser Permanente’s brand by using bold colors throughout the facility. Strategic color blocking helps visitors find their way, while bright, open waiting areas, digital check-ins and patient tracker boards also create a space that’s easy to navigate. A monumental stair connects visitors to the second floor while also encouraging physical activity.
Prioritizing Patient CareEven though the facility is primarily for low-risk medical care, centralized nurse collaboration areas increase visibility and help staff care for patients as efficiently as possible. Every exam room includes a virtual care monitor to enhance the discussion between a doctor and their patient, while also allowing specialists to be present via telecommunication methods.
An Eye on the FutureTo maximize flexibility, increase efficiency and plan for the future, a prefabricated wall system with demountable partitions was utilized in the clinic spaces. As the surrounding community continues to grow, this will allow the medical center to re-configure the space at any point in time. Standardized exam rooms allow the space to flex with demand and enable the building to accommodate brand-new modalities without renovations.
LEEDing the WayTo support Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to providing a sustainable, life-long medical facility, the project team employed a number of sustainable design strategies. Efficient mechanical systems, low-impact fixtures and finishes, charging stations for electric vehicles, reduced outdoor water use, recycling stations and more all contributed to the project’s LEED Silver certification.
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