Mary Bridge Children's Specialty Clinics
Fairweather Masonry Company, Inc.
Architect: Contacts Without Company
The design of the Specialty Clinics building creates an engaging environment for discovery and exploration supporting the innovative family-centered care practiced in this facility. The new building will be an enduring landmark that reflects the community's commitment to children's health. Located at the edge of the Multicare Medical Center campus, the design reinforces connections to the surrounding neighborhood.
The building provides a home for ten pediatric specialty clinics and ancillary laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services. Gift shop, bistro, Mary Bridge Foundation offices, conference facility and data center complete the program. Treatment, exam and diagnostic, spaces, equipment and communications are all state-of-the-art.
A nature-based theme established early in the design process organizes the art commissions, signage, patterns, colors and material selections within the building. From the ribbons of glass mosaic tile, to the bronze boat protruding from the window wall into the plaza, a rich tactile environment reinforces a sense of discovery in an imaginary voyage through the Earth's biosphere from seafloor to sky, making a visit to the facility a delightful experience for children and their families.
The Specialty Clinics facility is connected to the existing Mary Bridge Children's Health Center at the ground floor and serves as the main entrance to both. The building geometry anticipates planned replacement of the older building. The main entrance is prominently positioned on axis with a connector street, serving as a gateway to the hospital campus. The curved glass entrance facade frames a turning circle and plaza at the ground floor, providing the geometric theme for the reception and waiting areas developed along the glass wall on three floors. This facade is also the support for an art glass installation, which animates the exterior and dapples the interior with patterns of color.
The building's exterior draws on the vocabulary of the painted concrete campus buildings, and the brick construction of existing churches and apartment blocks that characterize the surrounding neighborhood. Interior corridors terminate in glazed recesses in the exterior; anticipating future expansion; providing views and natural light; and dividing the building into neighborhood-scaled volumes that contribute to the legibility of the building's organization.
The dimensions of the building footprint, the size and location of openings, were all established early on in the design process within the selected brick module. One-inch wide vertical expansion joints at the column lines delineate panels in the anchored brick veneer construction. Inset details at building corners provide the necessary seismic separation of perpendicular surfaces and are integral to the design of the exterior. Precast concrete lintels are integrated in the masonry courses that frame openings throughout.
Norman brick in alternating courses of gold and terra cotta are laid up in a running bond pattern within a framework of pre-cast concrete ledgers. This "pin-striped" brick exterior gives playful appeal to the building's simple volumes. The result is a building visually anchored within its context and distinctive in its identity, an appropriate expression for this pediatric facility within a larger medical campus and for the Mary Bridge institution within the community.