A Healing Place
The Vancouver Clinic
The design and space plan for the Vancouver Plaza Neighborhood Clinic was completed by LSW Architects and the LSW Interiors Studio in 2018. Created to resemble the calming textures and atmosphere of a city park, the building’s program includes 11 patient rooms and a shared team workspace for Medical Assistants, nurses and doctors, providing a more collaborative and community-based environment for staff. In addition, there are mixed-use spaces that can be opened and connected to one another when used for group activities, such as wellness presentations, exercise classes, and individual or group counseling.
Vancouver Clinic is the largest private, multispecialty clinic in Clark County, serving a fast-growing local growing population. The Vancouver Plaza Neighborhood Clinic was the first of two planned neighborhood clinics in 2018.
From the onset, the Vancouver Clinic team wanted a space that supports a transformative approach to healthcare. Their vision was to look at the barriers people face when seeking healthcare and address them head-on with real solutions.
To mirror the clinic’s holistic approach to healthcare, the design called upon materials and elements that would promote a sense of comfort. The team, in lockstep with LSW’s Interiors Studio, drew inspiration from the principles that inform the design of spas and community centers, pairing those with a very green and natural interior feel. The result is a clinic that is rich in warm, natural light and earthy textures.
As an extension of the spa-like theme, we turned the clinical notion of a waiting room upside down. Instead of rows of seats in a separate hall, where one waits for their number to be called, there is comfy seating, coffee tables, places to play board games and build puzzles, and rooms for community events and wellness classes.
With flexibility in mind, the building’s program has been expanded to include social spaces for group activities that focus on mental and emotional health. This includes classes, wellness presentations, exercise classes, and individual or group counseling. These mixed-use spaces can be opened and connected to one another, depending on the size of the events planned.
It was equally important for all spaces to maintain the divisions of privacy and technological standards anyone associates with a best-in-class medical facility. This was accomplished by ensuring that rooms can be closed off both acoustically and visually, giving patients and healthcare professionals privacy when needed.
Connection to Nature
Conceptually, the design was inspired by a city park, utilizing biophilic design elements such as natural textures, variations, daylight and plants, as well as local scenery in artwork and graphics. The result is a sense of place and meaningful connection to the community. Recognizing how much people’s mental and physical health is supported by a connection to the natural environment, they created an environment that fosters this relationship.
To make sustainability a key consideration with every project, we organize our efforts into the following categories: Energy Efficiency, Embodied Carbon, Human Health, and Resource Conservation. Each category is associated with goals, processes, and metrics that we use to hold ourselves accountable to our clients, our community, and to current and future generations. In alignment with our sustainability benchmarks for projects, the following features were implemented at the Vancouver Plaza Neighborhood Clinic:
Added skylights to reduce the lighting load and bring daylight into windowless spaces on the interior
Removed and replaced all the RoofTop Units with more efficient HVAC units
Designed to allow the community a place to meet: multi-purpose rooms (pre-covid) are provided to allow classes, group meetings, and gatherings
Biophilic design principles were used in the design of the clinic:
Live plants in the lobby bring nature into the space
Skylights allow a direct connection to the natural intensities of light and shadow that change over time
Designed the lobby to be a natural analog to an outside space: it incorporates live plants, a wall mural that mimics a lush natural environment, has a wood slat ceiling, wood-clad paneling, and a textured/colored carpet that symbolizes patterns found in nature
Natural materials (wood paneling and doors) are used throughout the clinic
We located one of the patient corridors adjacent to the existing exterior glazing to create a welcoming entry sequence. This corridor functions as a day-lit lantern allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the space when the exam rooms are not in use.
Skylight in the lobby and in the back-of-house space (nurses station) reduces the need for artificial lighting (saves energy) and allows a direct connection to the natural intensities of light and shadow that change over time
Public spaces, such as the lobby and Community Room also have access to ample daylight through floor to ceiling windows
To read more about sustainability at LSW, download our Sustainability Action Plan here.
"There has been a remarkable response to the Vancouver Neighborhood Clinic. People are always surprised by how comfortable, calm, and inviting the clinic is with its natural light and living room feel."
Chief Executive Officer, The Vancouver Clinic