VHC Health – Outpatient Pavilion
VHC Health – Outpatient Pavilion
Creating a Distinct Healthcare Experience
When Virginia Hospital Center, now VHC Health, saw an opportunity to improve the patient and staff experience through integrative design, they took it. Using cohesive architecture as a design framework, VHC Health created The Outpatient Pavilion and parking garage at the northwest corner of the medical campus to provide an optimal experience for all. With the proper space and layout to improve efficiency, these structures increase connectivity while preparing the site for future growth.
A Dynamic Pavilion
Through collaboration with VHC’s clinical, administrative and operational staff, HDR worked to develop design solutions to help establish the Pavilion as a physical representation of the occupant-centered ideal. Discussions with VHC’s teams about creating a resource that can adequately serve the current and future community while abiding by county regulations brought forth the conception of an all-encompassing Pavilion.
Pavilions typically serve one of three purposes: stand as a separate structure from the main building that has a specific function, provide a bookend to a complex of buildings, and create an individual experience from the surrounding buildings. At Virginia Hospital Center’s Pavilion, the structure will efficiently serve all three.
At the seven-story building, the Pavilion contains space for outpatient surgery, imaging, physical therapy, and medical offices, acts as a defining structure at the northwest edge of the campus, and provides an individual, wellness-based healthcare experience for everyone. The latter component was developed through a user-centered design process focused on creating a distinct experience from the ‘inside out’ that put the patient at the forefront of the design. The Pavilion’s multi-faceted purpose promotes comfort and cohesion at VHC’s campus, creating a unified healthcare experience.
A Parking Garage With an Intuitive Design
To ensure the patient experience begins directly upon entering the site, the Virginia team worked to create a parking structure design that seamlessly guides patients, staff and physicians through the area. The new parking garage, a ten-story, four-bay structure of approximately 98,900 square feet, centers on efficiency and convenience. To reduce the massing of the garage and the adjacent residential neighborhood, three garage levels were pushed down below grade. With a layout that accommodates various entry patterns through adjacency to the center of the campus, has clear wayfinding elements, and features intuitive progressions within the structure itself, the parking garage brings a sense of ease to VHC’s site.
The garage’s distinct layout, designed to increase staff satisfaction and productivity, is a current solution and an investment in VHC’s future. The structure’s alignment with the site’s existing limitations makes room for future construction endeavors so VHC can continue its path to establishing a healthcare experience that provides ease, efficiency, and support for the Arlington community.
Designing With the Community
Designing a 260,000-square-foot, six-story ambulatory outpatient center with a 1,700-car parking structure in a fast-growing residential neighborhood with historical gentrification challenges is not an easy process to navigate. Despite the daunting nature of the project, HDR, VHC Health, and the broader Arlington community embarked on a 14-month collaborative journey to establish an essential healthcare facility that could evoke a sense of place and deepen the bond between Arlington community members.
During the initial planning stages of the project, HDR used various tools and techniques to establish clear communication among all stakeholders and a collaborative design process. From the surrounding neighbors who held concerns regarding the project’s scale to the community members seeking to understand how this project would address the gentrification that has negatively impacted the area, HDR remained committed to the ethos that “everyone’s voice is heard” throughout the evolution of a project. Dedicated to involving all stakeholders every step of the way, ranging from discussions regarding the most minute details to talk of future expansion efforts, HDR and the Arlington community created a state-of-the-art healthcare landmark that current members and future generations can value and rely on.