Putting on the finishing touches
The health center is made up of five floors and includes spaces that vary from private offices to exam rooms to demonstration kitchens. This meant it would be a challenge to create a cohesive feeling, but it was a challenge the McWaters team accepted happily.
"Working on this project was both fun and interesting because there were so many different types of rooms to layout and design," said Bobby Nunn.
McWaters' solution was to use the finishes to tie each room together in a way that made sense. The finishes also matched the building's yellow, green and blue color palette, all of which have been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Creating a space for health
Even though the space is designed primarily for students, USC wanted to make sure their staff would be able to work in a place that promotes health. In addition to all the nature-inspired touches throughout the office, McWaters was also able to provide Ology Height Adjustable Desks for all the private offices.
Steelcase research has shown that taking breaks from sitting all day can help improve focus, engagement, and wellness. The standing desks allow employees to take a stand without having to shift to a different workspace.
McWaters wanted to incorporate the desks into the storage units in the office but weren't able to find anything that matched perfectly. So, they created a special storage unit to conceal one leg of the desk to create a clean look that blended with the rest of the building's aesthetic.
In order to create a calmer work environment, McWaters also installed a sound masking system in the workspaces that would hide background noise and allow employees to collaborate without interrupting others.
McWaters had the opportunity to show off their adaptability when they were thrown a curveball in the installation process.
Once the team got into the finished building and saw an angled beam running through one of the offices. The beam hadn't been in the sketches they had seen, so the team had to get creative--and fast. In the end, they came up with a completely different configuration for installing the furniture that allowed them to work the beam into the layout.
Deborah Beck, MPA, Ed.D
Executive Director of Student Health Services
and her staff
Design Partner: Lara Leskaj, LEED AP, Senior Interior Project Designer & Associate Principal, Perkins + Will
Contractor Partner: Paul Miller, General Contractor, Rogers Builders
Bobby Nunn, VP State/Federal Sales
Sarah Hemhauser, Interior Designer
Chris Coates, Director of Operations