The new Cedars-Sinai Los Feliz Urgent Care Clinic in Los Angeles plays against type, offering a stylized design to what are typically mundane, utilitarian buildings. Exterior features echo two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed iconic homes in the surrounding Los Feliz neighborhood. Textured stone tile on the ground level facade is reminiscent of the Ennis House, while green and white concrete brick—featuring custom incised geometric patterns including company initials—on the plinth level is inspired by the Samuel Novarro house.
The facility is located on busy Hillhurst Avenue, the main street of the Los Feliz neighborhood where local shops, bars, and restaurants are located. The clinic matches the scale, aesthetic, and character of the area that includes diverse architectural heritage spanning Spanish, Art Deco, Mayan Revival, Mid-Century, and contemporary eras. The nuanced four-box design features a textured façade that breaks down the scale of the boxes to evoke a patchwork form reminiscent of the rich pastiche of structures in Los Feliz.
The second-floor exterior is wrapped in matte black corrugated metal panels that create a rain screen system separating the stucco finish of the building and effectively keeping the building cooler. It also appears lower than it is to create a pedestrian-scale experience at the street level.
Natural light was a priority in the design. An airy two-story atrium draws in natural daylight and acts as a beacon in the neighborhood, especially at night when it appears to glow. Generous natural light also permeates exam rooms which can often be constrictive, dark, and claustrophobic in typical clinic designs. Cedars-Sinai opted to sacrifice 600 sf of profitable space to enhance the environment for patients and staff, allowing for more windows and outdoor space. A light at the end of each hallway provides illumination, enhancing the patient experience as they proceed deeper into the building and easing an experience that is often fraught with anxiety.
A series of murals by local artists including Nigel Sussman and Sarajo Friedman incorporate Neighborhood-specific imagery and bright colors. A staff patio located on the second story looks out onto the street to invite engagement with the neighborhood.
On the building team:
Owner and/or developer: Cedars-Sinai Health System
Design architect: Abramson Architects
Architect of record: Abramson Architects
MEP engineer: REX Engineering
Structural & Civil Engineer: LFA, Caitlin Bishop Project Engineer
General contractor/construction manager: Pankow, Jasen Greenberg, Project Manager