The City of Allen, Texas has recently welcomed a new healthcare development designed by 5G Studio Collaborative. The 8,432 sq ft complex blends urgent care facilities with 24/7 state-licensed emergency room functions, encased in an angular zinc façade. Legacy ER is the driving force behind this glittering facility; a collection of local doctors who own and operate the Allen complex and a similar centre in Frisco, opened in 2008. The organisation aims to provide the local community in Allen with high-quality healthcare services in a ‘convenient, soothing environment’.
Externally the complex is defined by a folded zinc façade which contrasts dramatically with the smooth rolled edges of the interior volumes. 5G Studio Collaborative explains that this juxtaposition is a representation of the duality of medical professionals, whose outwardly projected knowledge, skill and precision is symbolised by the clean lines of the zinc shell while their gentle and empathetic characteristics can be seen in the soft lines of the interior design.
Of the external design, 5G Studio Collaborative Partner Yen Ong says: "Using the ordinary interlocking method of a standing seam roof, the zinc panels were diagrammed in accordance to the planar parameters of the folded planes to achieve the eventual patterning while satisfying a solar shading program. Gradient perforated panels were likewise mapped onto the exterior surfaces to allow for the diffusive building lighting effects."
Integration of natural light plays a key role in the building design, with the orientation of the form defining the arrangement of the façade. A cantilevered roof overhangs to the south and east to limit the intensity of natural light within the interior spaces, while the west façade sports limited glazing with a perforated metal overhang to shield the exam room. Skylights dot the roofscape, allowing additional sunlight to permeate the interiors.
This reduced dependency on artificial lighting techniques adds to the building's sustainability credentials. There are also include low-flow plumbing fixtures and low-flow faucet aerators. SMR Landscape Architects have integrated approximately three times the amount of vegetated open space stipulated by the City of Allen, incorporating Cedar Elm trees, Pink Muhly Grass, Weeping Lovegrass and Buffalograss, as low water use, drought-tolerant species.
Legacy ER-Allen was selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH) as one of eight recipients of the AIA National Healthcare Design Awards in July 2014.
Client: Legacy ER
Architect: 5G Studio Collaborative
Architectural Team: Yen Ong; Paul Merrill; Josh Allen; Christine Robbins
Interior Designer: 5G Studio Collaborative
Interior Design Team: Danielle Cross
General Contractor: UEB Builders
Landscape Architect: SMR Landscape Architects
Civil Engineer: RLK Engineering
Structural Engineer: Datum Engineers
MEP Engineer: Jordan & Skala Engineers
Photography: © Michael Moran/OTTO