Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.


Jonesboro, GA


Architecture, Interior Design, MEP Engineering, Experiential Design and Wayfinding, Planning


LEED Silver Certified

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As part of a strategic growth initiative for the Atlanta market, Kaiser Permanente sought to expand and renovate its Southwood Comprehensive Medical Center facility to meet the needs of a growing community. Guided by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan’s (KFHP) design guidelines, Gresham Smith provided building design, site layout and phasing plans for the 122,000-square-foot expansion and renovation of the existing outpatient medical center. The revamped facility provides additional medical services and patient capacity by nearly doubling its size, while meeting the needs and goals outlined in KFHP’s strategic market expansion.

square-foot expansion
square-foot renovation of existing building

A Complete Patient-Care Experience

We developed the layout of the outpatient medical center to create a seamless connection to the existing facility as well as a new entry. Rebranding the facility’s exterior, the 64,000-square-foot expansion 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 experience possible in an outpatient setting.


Prioritizing Safety & Comfort

From the large public lobby, check-in, and waiting room layouts to the unobstructed views from staff nurse stations and work areas, the safety and comfort of Kaiser Permanente members, as well as staff efficiency, were at the forefront of our design.

check in desk

Intuitive Wayfinding

To create a more patient-friendly experience, we incorporated bold colors and clear and concise focal points that enhance wayfinding. For example, orange portals were used at nurse stations and other staff work areas so that members intuitively know where assistance can be reached in any department. Graphics and signage were also a key consideration, with cues such as super graphics in public areas leading to an additional level of distinction between public and staff zones.

exam room

The Ability to Flex

Acknowledging that the needs of the healthcare market can rapidly change, the clinics were designed with standardized exam room modules, giving staff the flexibility to expand or reduce a clinic’s exam room quantities based on need. So, whether you’re in pediatrics or primary care, all rooms in the facility are set up exactly the same, and staff can flex back and forth between the various specialties.


An Active-Occupant Design

Gresham Smith achieved LEED Silver certification not only through energy reduction strategies, but also by designing the medical center to promote the overall health of its occupants. As you enter the building, signage points out areas of active-occupant design. For example, visitors are encouraged to take this monumental stair, which leads to a two-story glass walkway that connects the two buildings and also promotes movement.

outdoor courtyard

A Place of Respite

Supporting Kaiser Permanente’s “Thrive” initiative, the staff courtyard is located between the existing building and the new addition. Located directly adjacent to the new staff lounge, the space provides a welcome respite for staff and visiting members alike.

waiting area with seating

A Total Health Environment

Through careful coordination with Kaiser Permanente, Gresham Smith was able to successfully implement the client’s member-focused design that promotes a healthy life. 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.

Along with the expansion component, the 58,000-square-foot revitalization of the existing facility included renovations to the chemotherapy infusion clinic, expanded primary and pediatric clinics, and a comprehensive imaging upgrade and addition. Combined with a fully renovated lab and blood draw/specimen collection area, the imaging renovation provides the Southwood facility with a new and efficient diagnostic center that complements the adjacent clinics.