Hoefer Welker, a Kansas City-based architecture firm, and U.S. Federal Properties (USFP), a Kansas City-based developer, recently finished construction on an outpatient clinic for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) located in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Phoenix 32nd Street VA Clinic, which spans roughly 275,000 square feet across 15 acres, will see half a million patient visits each year and is now one of the largest veteran care facilities in the United States.
The five-story clinic includes multispecialty and telehealth clinics, an education center, pathology, and imaging. In addition to a full kitchen and canteen for staff and patients on the first floor, the second floor houses one of the largest outpatient mental health clinics in the area, which provides counseling and specialty mental health services. Floors three, four, and five feature an innovative planning approach for the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) module, which can accommodate 72 PACT teams serving approximately 180 exam rooms.
For the clinic’s design, Hoefer Welker utilized its expertise in designing more than 30 VA facilities to reflect veterans’ health needs, including common areas, easy navigation, and an overall focus on healing and hospitality. Efficient clinical space layout promoted by the PACT module’s on- and off-stage model protects patient privacy, promotes intuitive wayfinding, allows providers to spend more time with patients, and minimizes staff and patient fatigue. VA Phoenix’s design incorporates extensive daylighting features such as lightwells in darker parts of the facility, panoramic views of the Arizona mountains, and access to green space and outdoor activities to create a relaxing environment for veterans and their families.
The clinic’s interior design reflects Arizona’s vibrant colors and geological formations, such as deep fissures carved into the façades and roof of the building that imitate the rugged terrain. Given the clinic’s location in a desert climate, sustainability was a priority for the design team to deflect sun glare into the building and reduce the energy output needed to cool the facility. VA Phoenix, which achieved a Two Green Globes certification, incorporates climate-responsive design features such as high-performance glazing and perforated, adjustable solar panels, which reduce glare and heat from the Arizona sun and ultimately lower energy costs and waste.
Hoefer Welker worked with the City of Phoenix, the VA, and individual veterans throughout the project to ensure each voice was heard.
“As a firm, we’ve built a solid partnership with the VA over the past 15 years. VA projects are very unique because they’re centered around a mission to give back to the veteran community, which has very specific healthcare needs,” said Hoefer Welker Partner & Director of Design Hosam Habib, AIA. “We take pride in being a firm with this specialized knowledge in healthcare planning as it relates to the VA’s needs, which allows us to create exemplary healthcare facilities and high-quality care for our veterans. Projects like this take a village, and we couldn’t be prouder as a team of what we’ve accomplished.”
In addition to Hoefer Welker (architect) and USFP (developer), the multidisciplinary team includes Jacobsen Construction (general contractor); Smith & Boucher (MEP engineer); Bob D. Campbell & Co. (structural engineer); Dibble Engineering (civil engineer); Protection Engineering Consultants (blast engineers); FSC, Inc. (life safety); ARUP (sustainability consultant and climatic analyst); and Gates + Associates (landscape architect).