Arlington Free Clinic audio/slideshow tour
“Dignity” and “respect.” These are the attributes that patients told designers they most wanted to see reflected in the design of the Arlington Free Clinic. The Clinic has provided healthcare services by volunteers, now numbering more than 500, to the un- and underinsured of Arlington County, Virginia, for the past 15 years. Over the past few years, the Clinic sojourned at various locations, as its previous headquarters was demolished and replaced with a new building. Clinic leaders saw the replacement building as an opportunity to offer some 1,500 patients an environment conducive to their health and well-being, and enlisted Washington, D.C.-based design firm Perkins + Will and its prominent interior designer Tama Duffy Day to work their high-powered healthcare imaginings on this 8,000-square-foot project. The result offers patients what Clinic executive director Nancy Sanger Pallesen calls the “Wow factor”: an inviting and comfortable color palette—30 different shades, in all—as well as intricately designed linoleum flooring and carpeting imaginatively playing off the Clinic’s arboreal logo. Eight warmly appointed examination rooms, two intimate counseling spaces, and a community gathering space/executive board room, controlled in size and purpose by ingeniously designed curved sliding doors, are offered as well. Recently Nancy Pallesen took me on an Opening Day guided tour of the new Clinic (slide show). Tama Duffy Day, in a separate audio interview, provided a broad overview of the project from the design standpoint.