Kaiser Permanente Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center

  • Steve Johnson

    Steve Johnson AIA, NCARB

    Executive Vice President Contact
As part of a strategic growth initiative for the Atlanta market, an expansion and renovation of Kaiser Permanente’s existing Southwood facility was needed to provide additional capacity for the growing community. The project completes improvements to one of Kaiser Permanente's four major facilities in Atlanta, which each expand services to a different quadrant of the metro area. 

Guided by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s (KFHP) design guidelines, GS&P provided a comprehensive building design, site layout and phasing plans for the new Kaiser Permanente Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center. The 93,500-square-foot expansion and renovation of the existing outpatient medical center includes imaging, high-acuity urgent care, a procedure suite and specialist departments.

While renovations were performed throughout the entire Southwood facility, the most significant renovations took place on the second floor, where GS&P expanded the primary care and pediatric clinics and added a new central check-in area. The design team implemented Lean design principles, reorganizing medical assistant work spaces into a centralized area to allow for efficient staff movement. The first floor renovations include a comprehensive imaging upgrade and addition complete with an MRI, CT, a nuclear medicine camera and cardiac stress testing. The imaging renovation, combined with a fully renovated lab and blood draw/specimen collection area, provides the Southwood facility with a new and efficient diagnostic center to complement the adjacent clinics.

The expansion component comprises additional specialty clinics, an acute care center and a procedure suite. By integrating these functions into one facility, the medical center significantly expanded its existing departments and services, resulting in the most complete patient care possible in an outpatient setting.

To connect the new facility to the original medical center, GS&P designed a two-story glass walkway inspired by KFHP’s “Thrive” campaign. The new connector promotes physical movement and features a monumental staircase for easy access from one building to the next. By assessing work flow patterns and applying KFHP’s standards templates, every element of the project focused on Lean efficiencies to reduce waste and implement cost-saving solutions.

Guided by KFHP’s well-established and recognized design guidelines, GS&P also provided signage and environmental graphics design services for the expansion and renovation. The design solution offers clear solutions that emphasize the new building’s contemporary styling, the renovations to the existing building, as well as the revitalized and reworked site. The clean and simple designs of the KFHP signage and graphics reflect the overall aesthetic that the project desired to achieve for its interior and exterior spaces.
Providing additional medical services and patient capacity by nearly doubling its size, the new Kaiser Permanente Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center meets the needs and goals outlined in KFHP’s strategic market expansion. Through careful coordination with the owner, the team was able to successfully implement the desired member-focused design and complete the expansion and renovation under budget. The project is currently planned for LEED Silver certification.
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