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Kaiser Permanente South NOVA Hub

When Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States began evaluating site locations for a new 300,000-square-foot medical office building in Woodbridge, Virginia, they called upon GS&P to perform a feasibility study for their proposed Northern Virginia (South NOVA) hub. A Preferred Provider to the organization, GS&P was tasked with developing a concept design for the five-story MOB and three-story parking garage, along with massing options, renderings and program axons based on input from the Kaiser Permanente design team. What started out as a master planning exercise for a long-term client, however, developed into a mutually rewarding architectural investigation that served as a testing ground for an emerging internal dialogue at GS&P about design process.
 
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The project was largely the catalyst for rapid concept generation—a generation of ideas that allowed GS&P designers to hand-sketch design alternatives as opposed to developing numerous models in Revit. Before starting the project, the design team held initial conversations with Kaiser Permanente to establish key design criteria for the new MOB. These included visibility, expansion capabilities, site maximization, clear and convenient circulation patterns, and energy efficiency. Out of the hand-drawn ideas came 12 design options that GS&P shared with the client. Each configuration represented a unique approach to massing and site utilization. This sharing of ideas and open dialogue not only built trust but also provided an all-important common perspective.
 
Following rapid concept generation, the design team developed a comparative matrix, which allowed both GS&P and the client to analyze and rank each of the 12 design options based on how successfully they met the various design criteria. An alternative referred to as “the potato” ultimately met the most design objectives.
              
By listening to and collaborating with the client, GS&P was given the opportunity to challenge some long-held beliefs about healthcare design. The team started by examining clinical organizations traditionally executed in an outpatient, ambulatory setting and focused on simple ideas such as increasing daylighting and reducing travel distances. GS&P advised Kaiser Permanente that by making a sequence of moves—relocating the program block of physicians’ offices, folding the building form onto itself, and designing the exterior envelope to prioritize penetration of natural light—they could arrive at a design solution that was not only aesthetically intriguing but would also enhance the human experience for both patients and staff.
 
Fostering an honest and vibrant discussion about creative design solutions, the award-winning Kaiser Permanente South NOVA Hub project allowed GS&P and the client to tease out design problems related to spatial organization, circulation and form. By utilizing a design process that prioritizes idea generation, design value and criticality, GS&P was able to engage in better design conversations with the client, generate early buy-in with design direction and improve the overall architectural quality of the product.

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Project Info

  • Client: Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Region
  • Location: Woodbridge, VA, USA
  • Market: Healthcare Design
  • Services: Architecture, Master Planning
  • Team:
    • Christopher D. Hoal , AIA ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT COORDINATOR
    • James V. Brennan, AIA SENIOR DESIGNER
    • Brent Hughes, AIA, EDAC, NCARB, LEED AP DIVISION VICE PRESIDENT
    • Rob Whitson, P.E. SENIOR CIVIL ENGINEER
    • Ashley S. Wood, RID, NCIDQ, IIDA INTERIOR DESIGNER
    • John R. Horst , P.E., LEED AP, CPD SENIOR PLUMBING ENGINEER
    • Adam Smith , AIA, LEED AP ARCHITECT
    • Deanna Kamal ENVIRONMENTAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER
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