Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center

Democratizing Healthcare

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a beacon of hope and healing to millions. So, in designing our representation of that concept for the residents of South Los Angeles, our goal was to create an outpatient center that would support community revitalization and be a national model of its own—one for accessible, collaborative, comprehensive and culturally sensitive healthcare.

The result is a four-story, 137,500-SF outpatient center that helps reestablish the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Center campus as a healthcare leader—providing urgent care, an ambulatory surgery center and more than a dozen specialty clinics. A unique ribbon structure—a sinuous wave of glass and steel—fits seamlessly within the context of the existing campus and reflects the bright new vision for the medical “village.” The ribbon defines both the outpatient center and adjacent hospital entries, creating a new aesthetic for the campus. In addition to reducing space needs, staff and operational costs, our client wanted to boost staff performance. So, functional and organizational design solutions were critical. Within each department, the nurses’ workstations are centralized between banks of exam or procedure rooms. This gives hospital staff excellent visual control of the area and dramatically reduces footsteps to those rooms. We also relocated a mass transit drop off, crosswalks, traffic signal and street alignment to accommodate the significant number of patients who arrive on foot or by mass transit. Celebrating King’s legacy, visitors are greeted by a full, story-high mural of him framed in the glass façade of the entry.