UF Health, Landmark Healthcare Facilities


Yulee, FL




Architecture, Experiential Design and Wayfinding, Interior Design


2021 AIA Jacksonville Merit Award

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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. Building upon the Gresham Smith-designed ambulatory care center that anchors the development, the newest 37,000-square-foot outpatient facility is comprised of a rehabilitation clinic, exercise and healthy living center. More than a doctor’s office and gym, the new space provides critical programming for creating a healthy community.

square-foot YMCA
square-foot rehabilitation center

Embracing the Outdoors

The site is surrounded by preservation lands, a wetland and a 17-mile network of public trails. The facility’s functional program is extended outdoors with exercise lawns, café seating and event lawns to build connections between the building and surrounding environment. Occupants of the clinical sections enjoy panoramic vistas of the wetland, while physical therapy patients can enjoy the outdoors in screened areas between the building and wetlands. Native, drought-resistant landscaping attracts mosquito predators for natural pest control, helping visitors enjoy the outdoors bug bite free.


A Florida Lowcountry Aesthetic

The building’s distinctive exterior is cohesive with the development’s other buildings, with a “Florida Lowcountry” architecture that embraces the North Florida habitat and lifestyle. Working within the design guidelines, the design team developed an architecture that integrates broad overhangs, board and battens and punched openings to not only relate to the emerging development, but also reflect the healthcare provider’s commitment to providing the highest level of care.

The building’s main entry is clearly marked with a two-story glass curtain wall and canopy, which welcomes visitors into a casual, laid-back space with high ceilings and large windows. The wood-look rainscreen on the building’s exterior wraps into the lobby, and board and batten walls and wood slat ceilings also carry through from the exterior. Wall-mounted lighting in the main concourse is reminiscent of fireflies, one of the community’s motifs for the monumental signage, and create a playful connection to nature. A combination of white, blues and grays echo Florida’s waterways, while a few touches of orange in lighting, signage and resin reinforce the hospital’s brand.

gym with equipment downstairs and walking track upstairs

Creating Healthy Habits

The 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art YMCA features increased pops of orange to evoke energy throughout the space, and resin ceiling petals and distinctive floor patterns provide intuitive wayfinding throughout the building. The first floor houses cardio and strength equipment, with each exercise space denoted by changes in flooring type and color, and is overlooked by a running track on the second floor. Dedicated workout studios provide space for group exercise classes, and a “kidzone” with indoor and outdoor play space allows children to explore, play and learn while parents workout. The connected healthy living center is designed to host educational programming, with a dedicated classroom for teaching community members about making healthier choices, reducing chronic disease and reclaiming good health.

children’s rehab room
adult’s rehab room

A Right-Sized Rehabilitation Clinic

The 10,000-square-foot rehabilitation clinic offers occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language pathology to adult and pediatric patients, directly responding to the community’s healthcare needs by providing the first full-service pediatric rehabilitation office in the region. Floor-to-ceiling windows create a bright, welcoming environment for patients alongside the latest treatment technologies and equipment.

exterior at night

A New Era in Community Healthcare

Fitting into the developer’s vision of a healthier community and an architectural style that evokes front-porch-friendly living—the new rehabilitation clinic, healthy living center and fitness center are set to help improve quality of life and decrease the demand for acute healthcare services and associated costs, meeting shifting consumer expectations and creating the healthiest generation.