Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed August 2006)

Chief administrator: Colonel Montero, Former Administrator at Little Rock Air Force Base

Firm: Heery HLM/design, (319) 354-4700

Design team: Scott Hansche, AIA, Project Design Principal; Suzanne Szak, ASID, Interior Designer; Kristi Miller, Interior Designer; Doug Infelt, AIA, Healthcare Planner/Designer (Heery HLM/design); Ken Monroe, PE, Project Manager (Earth Tech)

Photography: Steve Hornaday

Total building area (sq. ft.): 24,795

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $139

Total construction cost (excluding land): $3,452,000

Converting a 43-year-old decommissioned inpatient hospital into a cutting-edge, aesthetically pleasing outpatient clinic was the challenge presented by the 314th Medical Group at Little Rock Air Force Base. Key among the owner's goals was the creation of a facility that would be easy to navigate and use, as well as be better suited for the outpatient services provided.

The first course of action was to survey the existing building and determine which portions would be preserved, which spaces would be renovated, and how they would be organized. Prior to the renovation, operating rooms were used for consultations, conferencing, and training. The emergency room, intensive care area, and inpatient rooms were used for patient exams and other patient functions.

With 47,000 square feet to work with, the design team's solution was to create an identifiable exterior image as a patient entry point, and a primary circulation spine to feed easily into department reception areas and offices in two separate phases. Exam and consultation rooms exist beyond the reception areas and are easy to find.

Curved ceilings and floor patterns act as the wayfinding tools that lead patients easily to the reception areas. The facility reconfiguration took advantage of existing windows and brought natural daylighting into the waiting areas to enhance patient and staff comfort. Colorful, contemporary furniture, artwork from local and regional artists, and soft comfort make the facility one that patients and staff greatly appreciate.