New York Hospital Queens Astoria Primary Care Clinic

This satellite facility is a powerful presence in its neighborhood.

By Cory Sekine-Pettite
Images courtesy of Alexander Severin

With the interior highly visible from the outside, the client wanted a bright and inviting space.
With the interior highly visible from the outside,  the client wanted a bright and inviting space.

The design of most hospitals and other healthcare facilities often can look and feel cold or uninspired, but they don’t have to be. A more inviting design can lead to a clinic that becomes part of a community rather than derided. Let’s face it: No one wants to go to the doctor, but when you need to, an aesthetically pleasing building (often referred to as patient-centered design) can improve outcomes.

Waiting rooms on the first and second floor allow ample amounts of controlled natural light into the space.

Waiting rooms on the first and second floor allow ample amounts of controlled natural light into the space. A bold color palette was chosen to give the clinic’s interior a strong identity.
Distinct geometric volumes interact with each other at the reception desk and a new boldly colored enclosed stair volume provides a dramatic transition between floors.
Distinct geometric volumes interact with each other at the reception desk and a new boldly colored enclosed stair volume provides a dramatic transition between floors.

One beautiful healthcare clinic that caught our eye recently, is New York Hospital Queens Astoria Primary Care Clinic designed by Michielli + Wyetzner Architects. The 5,000-square-foot facility is a satellite primary care clinic. This off-site primary care clinic—built between October 2013 and October 2014—is one in a series of new neighborhood practices intended to raise the profile of the New York Hospital Queens in the surrounding community. Located in Astoria, on a corner site along the busy thoroughfare of 30th Avenue, the distinctive design is intended to give this satellite facility a powerful presence in the neighborhood.

The clinic’s two floors consist of exam rooms, consultation rooms, waiting and reception, and support spaces. The exterior is painted exposed steel, perforated corrugated metal, glass, and brick. It was originally an existing one-story brick building to which the landlord added a second floor several years ago.

“The second floor was clad in Tulip Blend brick. We added white perforated corrugated metal panels to the lower level to hide the old uneven brick and to highlight the second floor by making it appear to float above the ground floor,” said Michael Wyetzner, one of the firm’s founding partners. “The metal also masks the uneven pattern of existing windows, allowing sunlight in during the day emitting a soft glow in the evening.

“We also combined the two windows on the front façade to create one long window and needed to remove the brick above the window and replace it,” Wyetzner continued. “We went to the brick yard to select brick we thought would give a perfect match. We also added a new canopy at the entrance that becomes the ceiling plane on the interior.”

A new canopy at the clinic entrance becomes the ceiling plane on the interior.

The firm used an illuminated polycarbonate ceiling that calls attention to the building in the neighborhood.
The firm used an illuminated polycarbonate ceiling that calls attention to the building in the neighborhood.

During construction, the two-story brick building was completely gutted to accommodate new exam and consultation rooms. The main circulating corridor on both floors is located along the perimeter of the cross street to allow natural light to enter into the patient area. Waiting rooms on the first and second floor allow ample amounts of controlled natural light into the space.

With the interior highly visible from the outside, the client wanted a bright and inviting space. Michielli + Wyetzner incorporated Sierra Shadowstone on the entry wall as part of the hospital’s “brand.” In addition, the firm used an illuminated polycarbonate ceiling that calls attention to the building in the neighborhood. And a bold color palette was chosen to give the clinic’s interior a strong identity. Distinct geometric volumes interact with each other at the reception desk and a new boldly colored enclosed stair volume provides a dramatic transition between floors and is visible from the street. In particular, Wyetzner said, he wanted to call attention to the new stairs, so they were painted blue on the outside and the inside.

It is easy to see in the photos accompanying this article that the New York Hospital Queens Astoria Primary Care Clinic is not only a beautiful building, but an inviting space as well. The building itself can’t cure you of your ills, but it certainly can ease your anxiety as you make your way inside.

Michielli + Wyetzner incorporated Sierra Shadowstone on the entry wall as part of the hospital’s “brand.”
Michielli + Wyetzner incorporated Sierra Shadowstone on the entry wall as part of the hospital’s “brand.”

About the firm:

Michielli + Wyetzner Architects, New York, was established in 2004. The firm works mainly in university, cultural, public, and healthcare facilities design. With just a small staff of nine, Michielli + Wyetzner has earned an impressive number of awards—at least 10—including an AIA National Healthcare Design Honor Award in 2015 for the New York Hospital Queens Astoria Primary Care Clinic.

Project Team:

 

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