Since the early 1980s, Legacy Community Health Services has been a piece of the Houston landscape, where it was started in an effort to offer locals a place to go for anonymous STD screenings and treatment. Today, it serves more than 40,000 patients a year, providing comprehensive primary health services as a Federally Qualified Health Center.
“We’ve grown to offer everything from vision to dental, behavioral health, and financial services. And all of these departments had been spread out to different buildings within a couple of miles of each other in this one particular area of town,” says Legacy’s Facility Design Manager Joel Kalmin, of what inspired Legacy’s recent project at its Legacy Montrose Clinic.
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It became apparent that as the location’s offerings grew, its surroundings needed to, as well. The result is an eco-friendly 40,000-square-foot, four-story facility designed by Gensler that opened in late 2011, where all of those services are now housed under one roof.
Kalmin, who previously worked in hospitality and residential design, came on board with Legacy after the outset of the project and took the reins of the Legacy Montrose Clinic’s interior design—his first healthcare design project.
Because of Legacy’s own legacy within the community, it was important that the new facility encompass its past as well as represent the future.
“We wanted the building to be fresh and contemporary, and it also needed to feel warm and be a place where our clients would not feel intimidated,” Kalmin says. “We have adult care, pediatrics, male and female HIV services, and we have to encompass the entire community under one roof, so that was a challenge. By doing that, by knowing what our market was, we stripped down to what our basic needs were, and that was to provide a comfortable environment.”
Initial design goals were set by individual department heads, who collaborated with their teams to determine specific wants and needs. Kalmin partnered with Gensler to follow up with those teams to understand workflow and potential changes that could be made.