Kaiser Permanente


Glen Burnie, MD


Architecture, Interior Design, Structural Engineering, MEP Engineering, Site Development, Sustainability and Resiliency Services


LEED Gold Certified
AIA Middle Tennessee Honor Award
IIDA Tennessee Chapter Award

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Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers. Following Gresham Smith’s successful expansion and renovation of a comprehensive medical center for Kaiser Permanente in Georgia, the firm was selected to design a replacement facility in the Baltimore, Maryland suburb of Glen Burnie. Strategically located to fill a void in the regional availability of Kaiser Permanente’s facilities, and designed to be a community focal point, the North Arundel Medical Center shows how a big company can make a localized impact.

square feet
different clinics
of natural forest preserved
the exterior of the facility during the day

The project site is surrounded by 13 acres of wetlands, public arterial roads, private streets, utilities, and property lines, and had to meet zoning requirements, environmental regulations, and Kaiser Permanente’s required parking ratio. Our three-story design efficiently stacks the clinical and retail functions to reduce the building’s footprint while increasing visibility from nearby streets and the adjacent highway, while also creating a defined circulation system that supports a patient-friendly environment and provides views to exterior amenities. The layout also enabled us to preserve 15% of the surrounding natural forest and incorporate bioswales to manage stormwater and avoid runoff into wetland areas.

lobby and check in area
a doctor standing at the computer in an exam room

Given the program requirements and limited available square footage, space planning posed a significant challenge that resulted in some innovative design solutions. Our team created a layout that allows clinics to share space, increasing efficiencies while enabling clinics to handle varying quantities of patients. Additionally, demountable partition walls and 6,000 square feet of reprogrammable space provide flexibility for future growth.

a nurse station with aqua blue pain

A cornerstone of its brand, Kaiser Permanente embraces the idea of a “Total Health Environment” that comforts members during the entirety of their visit. With three floors and nine different clinics, we created comfort through clarity with intuitive circulation and wayfinding. Entry portals, graphics, and color-coded walls enable patients to easily navigate the building without added stress. Additionally, we incorporated wall graphics and strategically placed signage to encourage physical fitness and educate members about staying healthy.

the exterior of the facility at night

The facility is Kaiser Permanente’s first LEED Gold-certified facility in the Mid-Atlantic region. Sustainable features include efficient mechanical systems, LED lighting, instantaneous water heaters, occupancy sensors, full energy monitoring, and a more efficient building envelope than required by code. With careful planning and client guidance, we reduced the facility’s total water and energy consumption, carbon footprint and demand for construction materials. Overall, the building is expected to perform 36% better than the standard baseline, and water consumption will be 20% lower than federal government standards.