As the healthcare industry shifts from centralized to decentralized care, many hospital systems now adopt a hub-and-spoke model to bring outpatient care to communities by offering clinics in addition to acute care at a main hospital campus. Some clinics have adapted buildings of other typologies, such as retail. These new medical facilities revitalize retail cores while also offering state-of-the-art care located near existing public transportation, highways, sidewalks, parking, and urban utilities. A prime example of this approach is Seattle Children’s South Sound Clinic, a 37,000 SF outpatient clinic adapted from a former Circuit City store that houses a range of services including urgent care, outpatient care, occupational and physical therapy, and specialty clinics.

Project category: Conversion

Chief administrator: Sandy Miller, director of facility design and construction

Firm: ZGF Architects LLP,

Design team: ZGF Architects LLP (architecture); Aldrich & Associates (general contractor); Affiliated Engineers Inc. (mechanical and plumbing); Coughlin Porter Lundeen (structural and civil engineering); Stantec (consulting, electrical)

Photography: Aaron Leitz; Nancy LeVine

Total building area (sq. ft.): 37,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $270

Total construction cost (excluding land): $10 million

Completed: June 2015

Using a cross-functional Lean approach to design—with more than 13 Integrated Design Events (IDEs) that  engaged diverse stakeholder groups and ranged from table top events to full-scale mock-ups and real-time modeling—ZGF gained crucial user input to maximize clinic efficiencies. Key outcomes include enhanced access and convenience for patients as they arrive, reduction in patient and staff travel distances, reduced storage space, and a 75 percent decrease in the total number of specialty treatment rooms required, from 20 to five.