PageSoutherlandPage designs new healthcare centre for Native American community
From direction provided by Tribal Leadership, design commenced in 2006 for this replacement hospital to be constructed on a 230-acre site in Ada, Oklahoma. Occupancy for the 216,000 sq ft hospital and 142,000 sq ft clinic will occur in late 2010.
Generally, Native American culture emphasises nature as something requiring respect and appreciation. The building’s organisation was conceived to take advantage of the pristine aspects of this site which includes a creek on the eastern edge and numerous large trees. A design goal was to maximise access and views to these natural elements while concurrently increasing daylight into the building. The concept was entitled 'Front / Front', creating a plan in which traditional elements of 'front' such as parking and public access and the utility areas traditionally in 'back' of the building were put to the side in order to connect the facility to its’ site in as many places as possible. Patient units were set on the ground orientated toward undeveloped parts of the site.
Massing and building forms were influenced by Chickasaw culture and art - influencing the development of 'town centre'; a gathering space at the heart of the facility. Chickasaw culture emphasises a connection to extended family by locating this space at the centre of the facility and placing dietary services adjacent to it, a space for family interaction is created. Another example is the faceted façades of the building and terrazzo floor patterns. These elements were influenced by Chickasaw neckwear and reflect the organisation of their assembly.
Natural materials such as Oklahoma stone and unfinished copper panels support the goal of connecting the building to its’ site. Their organisation was incluenced by woven patterns of Chickasaw blankets and baskets.