Entry at Night
Entry Detail
Reception / Waiting Area
Waiting Area
Wellness Center
Privacy Panels at Check-in
Doctor’s Office

Student Health, Dental, Counseling & Testing Center

Portland State University Portland, OR

The renovation of the existing building, approximately 20,000 SF, allowed 4 departments (Health Clinic, Counseling Services, Testing Center, and Dental Services) offering mutually beneficial services, to co-locate for the first time. While sharing a common identity of “mind and body” health, each service had its own needs. To encourage student’s use of services offered, it needed to overcome the old infirmary connotations. We chose to characterize the center as an uplifting, healthy oasis of calm and nature.

An exterior portico of slate, pebble, glass tiles, a water pool, and wood, establish a Zen-like setting, calming the visitor to create a healing attitude. The visitor steps into the registration/waiting space and is greeted by references to nature. The room is topped with a canopy of ‘lily pads’ that define check-in and seating areas while providing noise reduction and privacy. A wood ceiling lattice follows the visitor from the arrival space throughout the clinic as an orienting device. Various seating arrangements provide a choice of settings. The arrival space also includes an open self-help resource center stocked with brochures on health care issues.

Counseling, Health Clinic and Testing areas are accessed from the lobby/waiting area through one door, protecting anonymity and privacy. A central core with shared services and a corridor on either side form the clinical area. The testing and dental programs are on the upper floor. The clinical corridors are defined with a continuation of the wood overhead lattice. The existing structure has been left visible above allowing the ‘bones’ of the structure to be seen and preserving openness.