Hennepin County Medical Center's Sustainable Urban Clinic

Hennepin County Medical Center's New Family Medical Center is Sustainable Urban Clinic for a Multicultural Neighborhood


Hennepin County Medical Center's (HCMC) new Whittier Clinic, a family medical clinic in Minneapolis, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), transforms a former brownfield site into a LEED-certified, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood clinic that reinvigorates the multi-cultural core of Minneapolis.

Located at the south end of Nicollet Avenue, where the avenue is blocked at Lake Street by big box retail and poor 1970s-era urban design, the flagship clinic is a dynamic, colorful and "green" destination that welcomes public interaction, and celebrates the neighborhood's rich ethnic and cultural diversity.

The 60,000-square-foot outpatient clinic reflects the collaboration of numerous clinic stakeholders, including HCMC staff, the neighborhood and community leaders-all of whom helped shape the design of the medical center. The clinic enhances the pedestrian character of Nicollet Avenue along this dense urban site with a public plaza at the primary entry. Welcoming seating, plantings and overhead trellises also emphasize a pedestrian scale.

Because "the neighborhood asked for a dynamic fa├žade," says Amy Douma, project design architect, the design team incorporated a mix of materials that minimizes the building's massing, while colorful accents reflect HCMC's branding as well as the character of the community.