For their first reproductive health center in Queens, Planned Parenthood NYC sought an uplifting facility that expresses the organization’s commitment to state-of-the-art care, provides an excellent patient experience, and welcomes an incredibly diverse community. The 14,400 sf facility includes waiting spaces, exam and counseling rooms, procedure and recovery rooms, a community health education suite, and offices. Design challenges included creating a welcoming facility while meeting security requirements, optimizing opportunities for natural light on a zero lot-line site, and inserting an institutional building into a primarily low-scale residential street.
The design is an expression of a state-of-the-art facility that is welcoming to all. The exterior asymmetrical elevation stands out next to its brownstone neighbors yet is sensitive to the street scale. Located along the front façade are the waiting rooms with large high security glazed windows that create a public presence. The interior aesthetic is pristine and white with a bold color system rigorously integrated throughout. The color system, carefully coordinated between lighting, signage, and interior finishes, brings spatial delight, acts as an orientation system, and reflects the community’s diversity.
Clinical services are on the ground level with the main reception, administrative offices, and community education above. Clean and logical planning provides an efficient patient flow while maximizing natural light. The fire stairs, an important aid in circulation and orientation, are colorful, light-filled, and highly visible.
The spirited yet calming architecture offers an uplifting experience and serves as a model for future facilities. Cecile Richards, former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, calls the facility the “North Star” for the Federation.
“The scale and contextual response of this clearly executed project is commendable. The articulation of the façade maximizing view of the tree canopy, thoughtful use of color and details, furniture selection and integration of graphics are well orchestrated. For a modest $5 million budget, the project achieved a high level of consistency and sophistication.”
Douglas Hocking, Jury Chair, AIA National Healthcare Design Award
“Thanks to the thought that went into building this facility, which will, one might hope, serve as a prototype, those who visit the Diane L. Max center will feel cared for, even pampered, at a time when they very much need it.”
Claire Barliant, Metropolis Magazine
“The 'North Star' for the rest of the Federation!”
Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
An intensive programming phase enabled PPNYC to take a fresh look at the organization and design of their centers. Diagrams developed by SYA assisted PPNYC in refining patient flow and identifying opportunities for gaining efficiencies in space and workflow, with the goal of achieving the best possible patient and staff experience.
Creating an Appropriate “Atmosphere”
SYA utilized concept boards to assist PPNYC in determining the appropriate feeling and experience for patients and staff.