Project Category - New Construction and Remodel/Renovation (completed May 2000)

Facility Contact - Glenn Benson, Chief, Engineering Services, (401) 273-7100

Firm - Payette Associates, (617) 895-1058

Design Team - Kevin Sullivan, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Chris Dumont, Job Captain; Ed Fowler, AIA, Detailer Extraordinaire; Brian Carlic, Project Landscape Architect; Vincent Santaniello, Designer

Patient/Bed Capacity - 119

Total Building Area (sq. ft.) - 38,000

Total Land Area (acres) - 7.5

Total Cost (excluding land) - $2,650,000 (addition); $2,600,000 (renovation)


The VA was seeking to improve outpatient services in response to shifting demographics and competition from the private sector. The addition of a new Ambulatory Care facility addresses those issues with innovative, light-filled, functional spaces and a fresh public image. The design solution creates a strong entry and circulation hierarchy to support increased outpatient traffic flow. A preoxidized copper entrance pavilion, scaled in the tradition of important civic buildings, visually separates the addition from the rambling brick massing of the existing hospital campus and expresses the VA's commitment to modern healthcare delivery.

Internally, the clinic solution is a national primary care prototype for patient care delivery, a dramatic departure for this public institution. The proactive approach to services for veterans is predicated on the assignment of individual primary care physicians who practice in a group known as a “firm.” Each firm contains a ring of exam/office spaces surrounding a private subwaiting area that also functions as a “light court.”

Clinic reception is located at the entry to the ring from the main corridor, while staff access the exam/office areas via a secondary perimeter corridor. This separation of public/private pathways allows staff to circulate without disturbing the waiting area.

Larger clusters of patients can be served while providing direct access to specialty clinics immediately adjacent to primary care providers. An animated system of color layers defines clinic boundaries, while also humanizing a massive floorplate of dense interior spaces, bringing some of the spatial complexity of the main lobby into the clinic interior.