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UCSF Osher Center, San Francisco, United States

Friday 29 Apr 2011

Go with the flow

© Michael O’Callahan 
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Award Entry

KMD Architects find inspiration in Feng Shui for new Osher Center 

The design-build partnership of SKS Developers, Plant Construction and KMD Architects won the design competition for the new Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, a 48,000-sq-ft, 5-storey building for UCSF’s Mt. Zion Campus. This facility accommodates the growing needs of the Osher Center, world renowned for its successful holistic and alternative medicine techniques. The building also houses the equally successful and prestigious UCSF Medical Center, dedicated to research, education and patient care. The new MOB began construction in early 2009 and held grand opening in early 2011, applauding the philanthropic efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Osher.

The Osher Center, the anchor to the UCSF Mt. Zion campus in San Francisco, conducted an internal study to understand the particular effects of the building on patients and staff members. Their findings conclude that two key features promote well-being among all users: firstly, abundant use of natural daylight, as previous research has concluded, uplifts patients, boosts employee morale and provides a comfortable and warm atmosphere in a medical facility; secondly, intentional architectural features such as the open stairway, convenient and easily locatable conference rooms and interview rooms provide opportunities for patients and co-workers to have impromptu conversations and more meaningful experiences.

Central workspaces are being used as hubs of activity and interaction for researchers. Our design objectives included a blend of Chinese Feng Shui design philosophy combined with functional and practical UCSF space planning. This integrative architecture symbolises the unity of the western oriented Medical Center and the holistic eastern-medicine based Osher Center under one roof. The building harmonises two distinct and often times disparate departments into one cohesive and balanced form. The elements of water, fire, earth, wood and metal were harmoniously incorporated into the building, making them integral in the architectural form as well as combining two unique departments.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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KMD Architects

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