Designed to meet the primary care needs of the Kaiser Permanente membership in East Los Angeles, the 50,623-square-foot medical office building is based on a “provider module” that is used throughout the Kaiser Permanente health system. Each module has 12 physician (or care provider) offices and 24 exam rooms arranged in a U-shaped configuration that allows easy, efficient flow of patients and staff.

The second floor contains two opposing modules that dictate the floor plate of the building. The first floor provides support functions such as pharmacy, imaging, vision services, lab, and registration. The design challenge was to create a unique and distinctive environment responding to the predominately Latino neighborhood context while keeping within the economical modular-approach confines of a budget-conscious client.

Project category: New construction (completed April 2002)

Chief administrator: Judy Nantas, Facility Manager, (323) 881-5518

Firm: Taylor & Associates Architects, (949) 574-1325

Design team: Rick Savely, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Harbans Ghataode, Project Manager; Lynne Petersen, AIA, Interior Designer (Taylor & Associates Architects); Dave Chacon, Project Manager (Kaiser Permanente)

Photography: Farshid Assassi, Assassi Productions

Total building area (sq. ft.): 50,623

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $170

Total cost (excluding land): $8,600,000

The exterior is designed with clean, bold forms, highlighted in equally bold colors, and is evocative of the architectural vocabulary of Mexico's Ricardo Legorreta. This design generates a strong street presence and provides solid ties to the surrounding community. The interior space also includes striking colors and culturally distinctive elements, including trilingual signage in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

Decorative pots imported from all over the world were placed throughout the facility to represent the daily life of ancient working-class people. A distinctively designed water feature, located at the entrance, provides a tranquil, inviting, and nonclinical environment. The facility also includes specially commissioned artwork from local artists.