Situated in a land formerly dotted by the silhouettes of singular buildings such as barns, sheds, silos, RV vehicles and semi-trucks, the Harvey Clinic is a biological cousin to these different typologies: it is a silent, yet strong, contrast in form and color to the excess of materials, weak shapes, and beige tones that make up the everyday suburban landscape. Perhaps strong form and a reduced material palette presents a more dynamic abstract figure in a land that was once rural and agricultural.
The building is the new home of a thriving pediatric clinic based in Rogers, Arkansas. The building’s bold profile forms the gestalt of the building, providing a visual identity to the Clinic for children and parents alike while establishing a strong presence along South 52nd Street, the main commercial corridor in the area, which is quickly becoming a hub for medical office buildings and services.
The cayenne form wraps the entire south side of the second level, which is lit from above along the south edge with a skylight that stretches the length of the building. A portal at the ground floor creates a drop of area for patients under the elevated cayenne form. Tenant spaces on either side of the pass-through are wrapped in glass, providing a connection with the surrounding landscape and an establishing visual and material separation from the upper floor.
Entering the building from the portal, one ascends a stair that is embedded in the “foot” of the structure. Blue glass in the skylight above washes the stair with blue light. The color creates a vertical threshold that suggests a place of healing lies above. Upon ascending the stair, patients arrive in the waiting room at the east end of the building. Fins along the eastern glass wall guard the interior from excessive solar exposure.
Sixteen exam rooms are organized along a loop corridor creating a simple circulation path from waiting room and check-in, to the exam room, to check-out. Skylights over the two nurses’ stations, which are distributed between the exam rooms, bring ample natural light into the center of the building. Small prep areas give nurses space to prepare vaccines and medications and a laboratory allows for basic clinic tests. The clinic’s four doctors are provided with a small niche, conceived of as Saint Jerome’s Study with just enough space for research and reflection.
The west end of the building houses the Clinic’s administrative functions. The Flex Space is the hub for the administrative staff. The double-height space is capped by the pop-up along the south half of the building, which contributes to the bold, figural shape and holds a mezzanine – a private break room for Dr. Harvey – with a wall of glass to the north, allowing light to wash the interior and providing a visual connection to the sky. A break room for the staff at the west end of the ground floor is the point of arrival for the staff and looks out onto a small porch and garden, providing a quiet place of reprieve.
The cayenne metal panel is a custom color that was developed specifically for the project. A standard, weathered zinc metal panel is used on the north side of the building, which is formally quieter yet abstract in its detailing. A ribbon window reinforces the horizontality of the form and the darker, cool gray recedes, giving emphasis to the saturated, warm color used on the south figure. A flat metal panel profile is used on the west elevation and soffit, while a box rib metal panel profile lends a subtle texture to the north and south elevations. Custom break metal trims are used throughout, allowing the detailing of the skin to reinforce the abstract quality of the building’s shape.
Now complete and in use, the Harvey Clinic delivers a high-quality, efficient space enclosed in a bold figure, creating a new landmark for the thriving pediatric practice.
Since 1990, Marlon Blackwell Architects has designed for its clients award-winning, environmentally responsive projects. Our belief that architecture can happen anywhere, at any scale, at any budget - for anyone - drives us to challenge the conventions and models that often obscure other possibilities. We use an economy of means to deliver a maximum of meaning in places where architecture is often not expected to be found. As an agile, full service design firm, we advocate a participatory, collaborative design process between the client, contractors, and architect, where all voices are heard from conceptualization to the realization of each project. In every instance, we strive to express the richness of the places we work and the ideals of the people and institutions we serve.
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