As a designer, trying to walk the line between community and medical environments in one space can be tricky. While one is warm and inviting, the other is typically sterile and, well, medical.

Iora Health came to LGA with this challenge – to help create a community senior center with doctors. For the primary care aspect of each practice, the company provides a team-based care system, including a dedicated advocate for each patient, whether he/she is sick or well. When patients are feeling healthy, they have access to a community of wellness classes and workshops, coaching and screenings.

LGA was brought in to work with the client to merge these two distinct ideals and styles at three new 6,000 sp. ft. practices in Seattle, Phoenix and Littleton, Colorado. The projects were completed September in time to start enrollment in October.

Although LGA has a long-standing relationship with Iora Health, these projects were different for the firm because of the nature of the model as well as the actual spaces where each clinic was located.

Alexia Chen, designer, and Jason Jorjorian, project manager, visited each of the locations in the beginning, during construction and at completion. They got a feel for the space and worked with the client to tie in Iora Health’s national branding – including the signature yellow – through a warm, inviting interior.

“We’re with them the whole way – from the initial site observation to completion,” Jorjorian said. “We’ve become trusted advisors. For us, it’s full service. We don’t stop at the design documents.”

Finishes and lighting designs denote which areas are meant for medical use and which are specifically for reflection or community. Each sitting room, exam room and community room was individually treated to finishes and lighting that carried through to the furnishings, Jorjorian added.

“You want to be in a different state of mind in the community rooms than in the exam rooms,” Chen said. “We went for less utilitarian and more hospitable.”

Created especially for seniors, the clinics hold a special place in the community, and Jorjorian and Chen aimed to convey that message.

“The idea was to break down barriers for seniors. It was really about their comfort,” Jorjorian said. “Sometimes they just go to see their friends and attend a class together. We went as far as coordinating the artwork plan. There is a lot of art instead of empty walls.”