Engineering News-Record (ENR) recently honored Will County Health Department, a design-build project lead by Kluber Architects and Engineers and Leopardo Construction, with an Award of Merit in their “Best Projects” category. This prestigious award was announced at ENR’s Midwest Regional Best Projects Awards on December 2nd, 2021.
Designed to mimic a private healthcare setting, Will County Health Department is home to several county resources. From behavioral health to environmental health, the 70,000 square foot facility is both welcoming and easy to navigate, a tremendous improvement from the original aging building.
Visitors at public health facilities across the country are often intimidated and underwhelmed upon entering the buildings because there is such a stark difference from the look and feel of a private practice. Additionally, visitors tend to feel a sense of confusion on where they should be going and with whom they should be speaking because the buildings aren’t easy to navigate. These pain points were all critical for our firm to keep in mind in designing a public health facility in the 21st century. As part of the programming and design phases of the project, our team held regular meetings with department leaders and staff to integrate their thoughts and comments into the design solution. For example, the Behavioral Health space provides services to adults, children, adolescents, and families. This requires separate waiting spaces and consult spaces for the different client age groups.
By designing each component of Will County Health Department to be welcoming and easy to navigate, visitors now immediately feel a sense of familiarity and comfort upon entering the building. Guests who enter the front doors of Will County Health Department are offered a direct line of sight to each of the building areas, eliminating any confusion as to where they should be headed.
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