- 2022 HONOREE
- Student Awards
West Coast Kidney Institute
Academy of Arts University
About the Project
West Coast Kidney Institute (WCKI) wants to open a medical office in Oakland to treat patients with kidney ailments and related diseases. Studies in the medical world have shown that one in 3 adults in the U.S. (approximately 80 million) are at risk of kidney disease. Being more common in women, kidney ailments are a leading cause of death in the U.S. In such a scenario, healthcare centers can have a vital role to play and their design can make a difference. There is a need to design medical offices that cater to patients that have been battling with kidney problems for years, that not only treats them but also provides an environment that promotes healing and wellbeing.
The main constraint is the structure- a warehouse building with a high ceiling of 14 feet. The windows are higher up, which means there are no views at eye level. The solution is to open up a few windows where necessary, as well as create “pocket courtyards” with skylights at the corners to allow views and light.
The concept for this project is inspired by the Oakland forests, a process called “Forest bathing” (in Japanese known as Shinrin Yoku). It is a process of walking in a forest, taking in the atmosphere, and making a contemplative and conscious practice of being immersed in the sights and the sounds of the forest. A medical office is generally a place that people tend to picture as sterile, cold and dreadful. To counter this, the design through this concept aims to make the patients feel warm, open and immersive. The space naturally flows from one to the other, allowing them to meander and take in the atmosphere.
To achieve this, elements of geometry from the oak forests are abstracted, such as the curves, lines and organic shapes of trees and lakes and are incorporated into the spatial design. The color palette is also natural, with greens and blues creating a tranquil ambience. The goal is to accelerate the healing process of the patients that are being treated in a safe, resilient and rejuvenative environment.