To facilitate efficiency, implement cost savings, and ease the travel for county residents using the outpatient facilities, the Florida Department of Health and Palm Beach County combined several of their facilities located throughout the county into one new building. The facility contains a 5,000-square-foot medical records area, maintaining medical records and vital statistics for the entire county.

This facility consolidates departments for the entire county, including pharmacy, laboratory clinics, dental, and administrative areas. The facility contains state-of-the-art IT cabling, with network connections in every room, and is a distance learning center for staff licensing.

This facility's interior spaces are its important design feature. The design encourages wayfinding by virtue of colors related to the various departments housed in the clinic. These colors are reflected in the waiting areas designed for each department—Pediatrics, Maternity, Family Planning, Adult Clinic, Immunization, and WICK units—and the entire wing for each department carries the designed color throughout, with accent colors at intersections within the departments.

Staff are more comfortable in the new facility, and are better able to respond to the patients through the design and efficiency of support and clinical spaces. Adequate parking is provided for patients and staff. Lounge and vending areas are available for lunch breaks and waiting.

The health clinic supports the needs of the community psychologically, socially and, more importantly, economically, and offers an improved response to the medical needs of its patients.

Project category: New construction (completed December 2002)

Chief administrator: Richard Birnberg, MD, Director, (561) 840-4522

Firm: MGE Architects, (305) 444-0413

Design team: Roberto A. Smith, AIA, NCARB, Principal-in-Charge; Rick Hernandez, Project Designer; John Townsend, Project Manager; Maria Barrenechea, RA, Project Architect; Katherine A. Corey, Interior Designer

Photography: Sergio Fama

Total building area (GSF): 60,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $141

Total cost (excluding land): $8,500,000