UAB Medicine


Gardendale, AL




Architecture, Interior Design

In order to bring vital primary and specialty care to underserved residents of North Jefferson County, UAB Medicine elected to build a new two-story, 38,000-square-foot medical office building in the rapidly growing city of Gardendale, Alabama, to replace its previous Gardendale facility. Through a careful study of clinic workflow and patient experience, Gresham Smith designed the state-of-the-art MOB to house an extensive program within an efficient yet flexible plan. Connected to a 24/7 freestanding emergency department, the MOB serves as part of the only emergency medical facility between Cullman and downtown Birmingham.

square-foot medical office building
primary care exam rooms
specialty clinic exam rooms
lobby seating

The Waiting is the Easiest Part

Enhancing the patient experience was a major driver in the design of the MOB’s interior and exterior spaces. To better accommodate patient comfort, the common waiting room area is organized with a variety of seating arrangements and amenities. Views to the outside provide a positive distraction for patients and their families.

waiting area seating

Let There Be Light!

Maximizing the reach of natural light was a key factor in arranging the MOB’s interior spaces, which feature full-height windows that flood the public areas with daylight and reduce the dependence on artificial lighting. The open floor plan provides ease of wayfinding and connectivity to outdoor spaces.

exam room hallway

The Great Divide

Etched glass partitions divide public areas from staff-only zones without obstructing the flow of light into the interior. As with our previous work with UAB Medicine on the Whitaker Clinic of UAB Hospital, the exam rooms were designed using Lean principles and utilize sliding barn doors and mobile equipment to create more functional spaces.

By focusing on three of our value-added design drivers—integration of technology integration, improving operational efficiencies, and enhancing the human experience—our design shifts the mechanics of how a physician and patient occupy an exam room by streamlining equipment. By overlapping department zones into a shared staff corridor, the facility promotes collaboration between the different practices.

building exterior

Better Access, Enhanced Care

Offering primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, cardiology, dermatology, urology, nephrology and gastrointestinal services within a patient-centered environment, the new MOB provides the local community with better access to essential services along the I-65 corridor. The facility also includes a diagnostic imaging suite, lab services, telemedicine and digital self-check-in kiosks and the UAB Medicine Callahan Eye Hospital Clinic.