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Chelsea District Health Center, New York, United States

Tuesday 01 May 2012

Updating an Art Deco icon

Stephen Yablon Architect 
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New design brings health clinic into the 21st century 

A landmark quality Art Deco style public health station will be transformed into a contemporary, light-filled 'high-tech park pavilion' that will support NYC’s ambitious goals reduce the incidence of HIV through increased STD education, testing and treatment. In operation continuously as a community health centre since it was originally constructed in 1934, the building now needs major upgrades in order to enable NYC to effectively respond to the urban health challenges of the 21st century, particularly more effective screening and treatment for HIV and other infectious and chronic diseases. Once completed, this 27,000-sq-ft facility will have the largest STD clinic in the country.

In order to encourage more community residents to get free testing and treatment for diseases often stigmatised in the community, the NYC Department of Health required a welcoming and reassuring environment that also met the demands of today’s increasingly complex patient processing and treatment methods. The building renovation was inspired by the Health Center’s unique location within a park and its thoughtfully selected materials enhance the feeling of being in a state-of-the-art medical pavilion in a park.

Sleek, extremely durable, high-tech materials such as white epoxy finishes and Corian express that NYC is providing quality of care comparable to a private facility. Curved wood ceilings and natural finish floors are warm and calming, and create a connection to its unique location in an urban park. All waiting areas have park views, and the floor plan is organised to accommodate a self-serve model of patient flow that maximises privacy.

Park-facing walls, clad in a tile pattern inspired by the park's sycamore trees, serve as a key wayfinding device, orientating visitors and reducing anxiety. A new glass-enclosed stairwell encourages stair use while creating a more welcoming and active environment through expansive park views and abundant natural light. Restoration and renovation of the exterior, a new accessible entry and all new infrastructure are included in the scope. LEED Gold certification is anticipated.

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Stephen Yablon Architect

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