Renovations to Health Center #9
Client: Department for Public Health, City of Philadelphia
Clerestory at atrium area, window modifications for energy efficiency and space planning for patient registration.
Health Center #9 was designed in 1957 by a well-respected Philadelphia architectural firm, but it too had become run down and overcrowded. In a first round of renovations we added a child play area and improved seating, as well as a better setting for confidential interactions between patients and staff. The medical team areas had become very crowded and inefficient. In consultation with administrators, doctors and staff, the team areas were rationalized and made more efficient through improved space planning
A second round of renovations several years later dealt with two specific problems. First, an atrium was covered over to alleviate overcrowding in patient waiting areas. Second, the windows were made more energy efficient.
The atrium was a well-liked feature in the health center. But more space was required to accommodate an increase in clientele and to comply with current HIPAA rules for privacy. Patients now have a light filled, generous main waiting area. No natural light was lost, as the atrium ceiling was designed to include generous clerestory windows. Close consultation with staff led to a design that incorporated improved patient privacy at registration, access for the disabled, and coordination of staff and records management.
Windows built in 1957 do not meet today's standards of energy conservation. This project involved researching different types of replacement windows and doing a cost/benefit analysis. Ultimately, the windows were saved, restored, and treated with a UV shielding film which increases energy savings and comfort levels.
Having the opportunity to return to a previous project site turned out to be a wonderful experience for us. We were delighted to see how well some of the finishes held up since our initial work on the building interiors, and we had the opportunity to work with new and dedicated personnel who had not been involved with our first project.