UF Health


Yulee, FL




Architecture, Interior Design

When residential developer Raydient Places + Properties envisioned the planned Wildlight community in Nassau County, Florida, they reimagined a place that supported healthier lifestyles with improved quality of life, a more proactive approach to health and wellness and ultimately healthier residents. University of Florida Health (UF Health) was selected by the developer at the outset of the project to drive health and wellness programming, and to provide medical and wellness services, to this mixed-use community. The first of several UF Health facilities at Wildlight, UF Health Wildlight Ambulatory Care Center will introduce leading-edge, holistic medical services to the region. Gresham Smith’s sustainable design solution expresses Florida Lowcountry character and culture while embodying UF Health and the developer’s goals for creating a healthy community.

square-foot medical office building
reception desk

A New Era in Community Healthcare

Although the concept of a community ambulatory care center isn’t new, the considerations within the design are anything but typical. The ACC goes beyond diagnostic and treatment spaces to deliver patient-centered programs that support wellness, prevention and early diagnosis. As part of a larger community that promotes health, the facility will include group therapy and education space; a “walk-with-your-doc” trail that circles the site and links to miles of trails throughout the community; a children’s outdoor exercise and play yard; a wellness center; and a central activity garden with recreational amenities.

doctor showing spine x-ray to male patient
pediatric patient looking at x-rays with doctor

A Design That Aligns

The facility’s clinical services were selected by UF Health to directly respond to the community’s healthcare needs—from primary care and urgent care, to pediatrics, obstetrics, lab and imaging, dentistry and behavioral health. Gresham Smith worked closely with UF Health, leaning into our decades of planning experience to develop an innovative clinic design that aligns with these services.

family sitting in the waiting room

Prioritizing Pediatrics

The pediatric clinic offers traditional exam and procedure rooms, and the sick waiting area is enhanced with negative air pressure. The clinic also includes a group room with a dedicated to pediatric patients, which can be used for dyslexia tutoring, weekend healthy living programs and science education. The waiting area is also designed to be used for classes and workshops on the weekend.

man and woman stand on balcony inside, looking out window
interior staircase

Embracing Current & Future Technology

Our design incorporates telemedicine infrastructure throughout the building, including all provider offices and exam rooms as well as a group therapy room. This forward-thinking approach not only supports the ACC’s current programs, but also allows the facility to quickly adapt to changing technologies within the next decade. To allow for telepsychiatry, the facility’s psychiatry offices were designed for acoustic separation from the rest of the building to assure patient privacy.

man walks dog along a path outside
building exterior with purple sunset

Capturing the Spirit of Florida Lowcountry

While the programs serve as the heart of UF Health’s response to the region’s healthcare needs, the building’s distinctive exterior serves as a landmark face for this new community. Wildlight’s design standards called for an architecture that embraces the North Florida habitat and lifestyle. The term “Florida Lowcountry” was coined to describe connections to nature, history and the community. Working within the design guidelines, we developed an architecture that not only relates to the emerging development, but also reflects UF Health’s commitment to providing the highest level of care.

several people and a dog sit in the park area with grass
man sits in the park area with exterior staircase in the background

A New Sense of Place for the Community

Promoting wellness and providing easy access to preventive medicine, Wildlight is now slated to become a national model for healthier communities. With UF Health’s ambulatory care center at its core—fitting into the vision of a healthier community and an architectural style that evokes the outdoors and front-porch-friendly living—a new sense of place will replace a previously empty site.

building exterior with water and bridge
We aimed to build a health making community from the ground up, one that meets shifting consumer expectations and, through health promotion, results in higher quality of life. Gresham Smith combined insights from community health data and the confluence of consumerism and population health to design a forward-thinking care center. Dr. Leon Haley, M.H.A., CPE, FACEP Former CEO, UF Health Jacksonville